WIPO SMEs Newsletter July 2009

July 30, 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 (IP) 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.

Case Study

Strengthening of Intellectual Property Rights in Mexico: A Case Study of Maize Breeding

Andréanne Léger looks at an exploratory study, performed in Mexico in the fall of 2000, which attempted to identify the impact of strengthening IPR in the Mexican maize breeding industry. In contrast to the general perception that IPR act as an efficient device to stimulate innovation and foster economic development, stronger IPR seems to have had little impact on the industry.


Protecting Intellectual Property Rights: Are Small Firms Handicapped?

In this study by Jean O. Lanjouw and Mark Schankerman, the findings show that small patentees are at a significant disadvantage in protecting their patent rights, since their greater litigation risk is not offset by more rapid resolution of their suits.

A survey of High Technology Firms

This research project conducted by Joseph J. Cordes, Henry R. Hertzfeld and Nicholas S. Vonortas for the United States Small Business Administration is aimed at developing a fuller understanding of the activities, problems, and characteristics of firms in high technology sectors, particularly small firms. One of the conclusions of the study is that formal intellectual property rights appear to be far less important to these firms than their market advantage and their ability to protect property rights through internal secrecy.

Does Active Use of Technology Market Spur R&D?: Empirical Analysis of IP Strategy of Japanese Firms

In this paper by K. Motohashi, IP strategy of Japanese firms is analyzed by using firm level data from JPO’s Survey on Intellectual Property Related Activities. A focus is put on firm’s strategy on development of its technology pool (in-house development or external sourcing) and its use (internal use or licensing out of technology) for innovation outputs.


“Smell-alikes” and comparative advertising

Zoe Fuller reviews a recent decision by The European Court of Justice (the "ECJ") in the L'Oréal smell-alike perfume trade mark case, giving guidance on whether the promotion of imitation products by comparison with famous brands is permissible under trade mark and comparative advertising legislation.

State of the IP Industry - Survey 2009

The State of the IP Industry Survey 2009, commissioned by CPA Global in association with IP Review magazine looks at the impact of the financial crisis on the IP strategies of law firms and companies, the biggest challenges that IP specialists are facing in their work and what they think should be done about it and how do they see the industry developing in the next five to 10 years?

SME tailor-designed patent portfolio analysis

The Innovation and Patent-Centre at the Chamber of Commerce in Hamburg, a German think tank for patent management, has now developed a tool for evaluation of patent portfolios specially suited for SMEs. In this article, Gudrun Littmann-Hilmer and Michael Kuckartz describe the methodology of the tool and compare it to other state-of-the-art tools. 

Industry-University IP Relations: Integrating Perspectives and Policy Solutions

Mariann Jelinek and Stephen Markham write that despite a long and productive U.S. history,
industry-university (I-U) relations have become increasingly testy around intellectual property (IP). The authors address the major issues identified by the participants in a workshop on university IP sponsored by the National Science Foundation where industry, university, researcher, and government representatives discussed issues well beyond what much of the literature on IP recognizes.

The 12 Different Ways for Companies to Innovate

Business innovation is far broader in scope than product and technological innovation. Companies with a restricted view of innovation can miss opportunities, write M. Sawhney, R. Wolcott and I. Arroniz, in a recent article published in the MIT Sloan Management Review.

Billions of Entrepreneurs in China and India

Entrepreneurship in both China and India is rising dramatically and thriving under quite different conditions. HBS professor Tarun Khanna explains what it all means in this Q&A about his new book, Billions of Entrepreneurs: How China and India Are Reshaping Their Futures and Yours.

Lost property: The European patent system and why it doesn’t work

In this paper, Bruno van Pottelsberghe focuses on the performance of the patent regime, the consistency of rules across countries and global governance questions concerning international cooperation among patent offices which are of major importance for competitiveness and growth.

APEC Intellectual Property Rights Experts’ Group Public Education and Awareness

APEC Intellectual Property Rights Experts’ Group has put together on its website a very informative and helpful set of Public Education and Awareness products produced by members States, including, from Australia, China, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore.

Forthcoming Event

The ip4inno and the European Patent Office (EPO) is offering three 2-day ip4inno training workshops this autumn.  These "train the trainers" workshops equip participants with practical IP knowledge to help others, and will address such important topics as:

  •  The patent system - how, where and why
  •  Patent information as a source of technical help and commercial intelligence
  •  A tutorial for how to make the most of the EPO's free patent database - esp@cenet
  •  The specific IP issues in the "Creative Industries"; in the software and computing sector; and in the biotechnology industries
  •  Trade mark and design registration systems
  •  Protecting and exploiting know-how, trade secrets and confidential information
  •  IP enforcement, litigation and dispute resolution; piracy and counterfeiting
  •  Applying IP to real business problems (with five team exercises)
  •  How to sell the importance of IP awareness and strategy to SMEs and start-ups

The workshops will be run on the following dates at EPO premises. Please click on the link for detailed information.


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.

If you have received this newsletter from someone and would like to subscribe yourself, then simply send an e-mail to sme@wipo.int with "subscribe" as the subject, and indicate your language preference (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian).

The past issues of this newsletter, since August 2001, may be accessed on theWIPO's SME website.

Copyright (c) 2009 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), 34, chemin des Colombettes, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland