World Intellectual Property Organization

Award for Innovative Enterprises

Among the principal users of the intellectual property system are enterprises which frequently use and own inventions, trademarks, industrial designs, appellations of origin and copyright in their business operations.

The WIPO award for innovative enterprises was launched as a means to promote the use of the intellectual property system by companies and enterprises and to promote public awareness of the advantages of intellectual property system for businesses.

(photo: WIPO)

General guiding principles

The WIPO award for innovative enterprises was launched in 2000 as a means of promoting the use of the intellectual property system by enterprises and raising public awareness of the advantages of the intellectual property system for business.


The objective of the WIPO award for innovative enterprises is to encourage small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in all member states, to actively use the intellectual property system in their production and commercial activities.

It is also intended to attract the attention of the public and increase the awareness of the advantages that the intellectual property system can bring to enterprises that use it in an active and concerted manner.

Who is eligible for the WIPO award for innovative enterprises?

Enterprises eligible for the WIPO award for innovative enterprises are national enterprises or companies (small or medium) that judiciously use the intellectual property system to secure the success of their business operations and in support of their research & development, production and commercial activities as follows:

  • through developing inventions and protecting them by using patents or utility models;
  • by manufacturing products based on patented inventions or utility models and registered industrial designs or copyrights;
  • by using industrial property information in support of R&D and in technological and commercial watch activity;
  • by actively using registered trademarks and other distinctive signs to promote the commercialization of products;
  • by using geographical indications and appellations of origin as a marketing support;
  • by establishing and actively managing a portfolio of intellectual property rights; and
  • by recognizing and encouraging creative and inventive activity among staff.

Criteria for selection of the winners of the award for innovative enteprises

The criteria for selecting the WIPO award winners will be elaborated jointly with the partners based on the elements mentioned above, while taking into consideration the specific conditions in each country. The following criteria will be taken into consideration:

  • The number of industrial property titles applied for and owned by the enterprise (i.e., patents, trademarks, utility models, industrial designs, appellations of origin, geographical indications, copyright, etc.);
  • The number of business activities where IPRs are being judiciously and successfully used;
  • How reference to IPR is made in publicity and advertising activities of the enterprise;
  • The existence or use of an IP service (IP department, use of external consultants, etc.);
  • Use of industrial property information in support of R&D and technological and commercial watch service;
  • The number of license agreements in use;
  • Actions undertaken to defend IP rights;
  • Existence of R&D institutes and academic institutions for promoting inventive and innovative activity;
  • Concrete measures for encouraging the inventive and innovative activities of staff.

Organization of the competition and the procedure for selecting the winners

Cooperation with national bodies and organizations will be a key factor in the success of this undertaking. Jointly, with national partners, WIPO will sensitize the industrial and business sector of the respective countries and encourage them to use the intellectual property system.

The organization of competitions and selection procedures for the WIPO award for innovative enterprises will be under the responsibility of a national organization/institution.

The national organization/institution could be governments or private entities dealing with intellectual property, science and technology, culture, trade and commerce issues, such as:

  • Ministries of Industry, Science and Technology, Trade;
  • Ministries in charge of intellectual property matters;
  • National industrial property offices;
  • Chambers of commerce and industry;
  • Federations or Associations of Industries;
  • Specialized industrial associations;
  • Associations of IP agents and practitioners; and
  • Copyright administrations and collective management organizations.

In each country the local organizers are expected to establish a national organizing committee, in charge of announcing and implementing the competition, appointing a panel of judges and organizing an award ceremony.

The WIPO award for innovative enterprises should receive wide media coverage, at the national level, and can be an exclusive event or be organized in conjunction with other national awards, (i.e., awards for excellence, for export achievement, for quality, etc.).

The panel of judges

The selection of the winners will be handled by a national jury, composed of representatives from different organizations, i.e., intellectual property offices, Ministries of Industry and Trade, Ministries in charge of patent offices, Ministries in charge of culture and copyright (if enterprises of culture and copyright centers are eligible), etc. WIPO would not be a member of the panel but will remain available in a consultative capacity should it be deemed necessary.

The award

The WIPO award for innovative enterprises is an honorary award and consists of a specially designed plaque.

The plaque will bear a special inscription, "WIPO award for innovative enterprises", and will refer to the name of the winning enterprise, the year, date and venue of the award ceremony.

WIPO could also offer a WIPO award on the occasion of international exhibitions (industrial, technological, commercial). The aim is to attract the attention of participants and visitors to the role of intellectual property rights as important assets of enterprises and companies and, at the same time, to encourage enterprises and companies using the intellectual property system.

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