WIPO SMEs Newsletter May 2009

May 31, 2009


By the SMEs Division of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
WIPO SMEs Newsletter is a monthly e-publication providing readers with useful intellectual property information contained in articles, case studies, forthcoming IP/SMEs relevant events, and published presentations featured on our web site. We hope you will find it useful and informative. We encourage you to share the newsletter or items of interest with friends and colleagues. For past issues and information on the activities of the SMEs Division, please visit http://www.wipo.int/sme.


Harmonizing/Standardizing the Methodology for Research on Intellectual Property and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is integral to the economic growth strategies of most countries, worldwide. In the knowledge-driven economy, the intellectual property (IP) system plays a crucial role in the competitiveness of enterprises, including that of SMEs. In the recent past, a number of studies and surveys on the use of IP by SMEs in a few countries have shown that most SMEs, worldwide, do not make effective use of the IPR system. In fact, in most countries, most SMEs are not aware of the relevance of the IP system to their competitiveness. Also, in many countries, publicly funded awareness and support services on IP for SMEs are inadequate or non existent. At the same time, as the scope and methodology of these studies is very variable, therefore, it is not possible to take, with any degree of confidence, concrete action at the international or national levels to improve the awareness, access and effective use of the IPR system by entrepreneurs and SMEs. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) would like to consider the development of a toolkit with a harmonized/standardized methodology, which will build on the experience of researchers who have previously worked on this issue. It is hoped that the proposed methodology would enable national situations to be compared horizontally and vertically, that is, amongst countries and over time in a country.   Such comparisons would enable both developed and developing countries to better adjust their policies, institutions and practices to better serve the IP needs of SMEs. This idea of a harmonized/standardized methodology has its origin in a recently approved project under the Development Agenda process of the WIPO, which is entitled “ Improvement of National, Sub‑Regional and Regional IP Institutional and User Capacity”.
To develop a harmonized/standardized methodology, the SMEs Division of the WIPO would like to have a more complete picture of the researchers and institutions involved in (or previously involved in) studies and surveys on the use of IP by SMEs. The SMEs Division, therefore, invites interested researchers in this, or in a closely related, area (such as competitiveness of SMEs), to share their knowledge to help create a harmonized/standardized methodology.
It is proposed to collaborate with interested researchers through a Wiki hosted by the WIPO SMEs website or by a credible partner willing to take on this responsibility. To facilitate the creation of the Wiki, the SMEs Division has created a document: “ The Use of Intellectual Property by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.” Amongst other things, this document identifies and provides basic details of some of the most relevant studies that the SMEs Division is aware of.
Your suggestions, comments on the document, the project in general and/or information about other relevant researchers, surveys or studies, including links to surveys or studies on IP and SMEs may be e-mailed to guriqbal.jaiya@wipo.int .


Making IPR Work for SMEs: Enforcement Best Practices



Knowledge Acquisition Models of SMEs’ New Product Development Processes and the Role of Patent Information

This article by Hanna Timonen and Eila Järvenpää reports on the findings of a study about how SMEs acquire external knowledge in the New Product Development (NPD) process. In particular, it discusses the role of patent information in the NPD process, based on knowledge acquisition modes of three different groups of SMEs; the interactors, the integrators, and the observers. 

SMEs and the New Role of Academic Research in Four Nordic Countries

This report examines the polices and institutions designed to promote the commercialization of academic research and knowledge exchange between SMEs and universities and the main drivers or obstacles to the commercialization of academic research in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. Attention is drawn to the part of the report entitled, “Reform of the intellectual property regime with respect to universities”, which deals particularly with the role of ‘ professor/teacher exception clause’, which is on page 30 of the report. 

Is Silence Golden? Patents versus Secrecy at the Firm Level

This article by Katrin Hussinger analyzes the importance of patenting versus secrecy. Based on the empirical analysis of product innovating firms in German manufacturing in 2000, it finds that patents are more important than secrecy to protect the income generated from sale of new products.

User Innovation in SMEs: Incidence and Transfer to Producers

This article by Jeroen P.J. de Jong and Eric von Hippel looks at the role and use of user innovation based on survey dada of 2,416 SMEs in the Netherlands. It shows that 21% of all SMEs engage in user innovation and that users tend not to patent or protect their innovations but to be willing to transfer their innovations to producer firms.

A Study on the Patent Exploitation and Management Best Practice Model for Japanese SMEs

This report by Korntham Sathirakul seeks to identify the best practices in Intellectual Property management by Japanese SMEs

US Chamber Releases its IP Protection and Enforcement Manual

This manual for IP Protection and Enforcement features case studies on proven strategies of companies to protect their creative assets from criminal counterfeiting and piracy.

A Time For Change: Toward A New Era For Intellectual Property Rights In Canada

This report by the Canadian Intellectual Property Council looks at weaknesses in Canada’s current IPR regime that undermine the country’s innovation capacity and economic prosperity. Emphasizing the creation of an effective IPR system as critical for the Canadian economy, it suggests extensive policy recommendations to bring Canadian IPR regime up to international standards.

Collecting Payments Even if Your Patent Application Never Issues as a Patent

This article introduces what should be considered in negotiating license agreements with pending patent application. It recommends the licensor to insert a de-escalating royalty clause and a clause regarding the “know-how” information to be protected from the uncertainty of the patent prosecution process.

Raising the Roof with a Successful IP Strategy

This article explains the IP strategy of “Webasto AG”, a German automotive component producer established in 1901. It is very impressive that the entire internal patenting process, from the first idea for a new product to the first filing takes only four weeks. It should be also noted that the IP department of the company works closely with the marketing, purchasing and sales departments getting involved in all contract negotiations, not only licensing contracts but also purchasing contracts in order to keep hold of its intellectual property.


WIPO-PPO-KIPO Eastern European Regional Forum on Using Intellectual Property (IP) PANORAMA for Building Capacity of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) for Strategic IP Management (Warsaw, Poland, April 2 and 3, 2009 )  More
The SMEs Division welcomes voluntary contributions of articles, case studies, news items, useful links and relevant information concerning forthcoming events of interest to entrepreneurs and SMEs for inclusion in future issues of this newsletter; contributions may be sent by email to sme@wipo.int.
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The past issues of this newsletter, since August 2001, may be accessed here.
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