World Intellectual Property Organization

Enforcing the Intellectual Property Rights of Your SME

Acquisition and maintenance of an intellectual property right is meaningless if that right cannot be enforced in the marketplace. It is the threat of enforcement which allows an intellectual property right to be exploited as a commercial asset. When viewed in this context, the existence of an effective enforcement regime becomes a central aspect of a well-functioning IP system.

Why Enforce IP Rights

The main objective of acquiring IP protection is to enable your SME to reap the fruits of those inventions and creations of its employees which resulted in IP rights for your SME. Its intellectual property assets can only lead to benefits when the acquired intellectual property rights can be enforced, otherwise, infringers and counterfeiters will always take advantage of the absence of effective enforcement mechanisms to benefit from your hard work. In a nutshell, the enforcement of IP rights is essential for your SME in order to:

  • Preserve the legal validity of its IP rights before the relevant public authority.
  • Prevent infringement from occurring or continuing in the marketplace in order to avoid damage including loss of goodwill or reputation.
  • Seek compensation for actual damage, e.g. loss of profit, resulting from any instance of infringement in the marketplace.

Explore WIPO