World Intellectual Property Organization

Why is Patent Information Useful for Your SME?

Patent information is useful for SMEs for a number of reasons. Probably the most important one is that patents are a unique source of technical information which SMEs may find of great value for their strategic business planning. Most inventions are disclosed to the public for the first time when the patent (or, where the law so provides, when the patent application) is published. Thus, patents provide a means of learning about current research and innovations often long before the innovative products appear on the market. The technical information contained in patent documents can provide your SME with important insights that may be used to:

  • Avoid unnecessary expenses in researching what is already known
  • Identify and evaluate technology for licensing and technology transfer
  • Identify alternative technologies
  • Keep abreast with the latest technologies in your field of expertise
  • Find ready solutions to technical problems
  • Get ideas for further innovation

From the point of view of the commercial strategy of your enterprise, patent information would help to:

  • Locate business partners
  • Locate suppliers and materials
  • Monitor activities of real and potential competitors
  • Identify niche markets

Finally, the information contained in patent documents could also be used by SMEs to:

  • Avoid possible infringement problems
  • Assess patentability of your own inventions
  • Oppose grant of patents wherever they conflict with your own patent

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