WIPO SMEs Newsletter November/December 2012

January 8, 2013

WIPO SMEs Newsletter November/December 2012

By the SMEs Section 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 Section, please visit http://www.wipo.int/sme.


Global IP Filings Continue to Grow, China Tops Global Patent Filings

A new WIPO report shows that while the global economy continued to underperform, intellectual property (IP) filings worldwide kept growing strongly in 2011. It also finds that China’s patent office became the largest in the world, as measured by the number of patent applications received. Before 2011, China already accounted for most filings of utility models (UMs), trademarks and industrial designs.

World Intellectual Property Indicators 2012 shows that patent filings worldwide grew by 7.8% in 2011, exceeding 7% growth for the second year in a row. Similarly, UM, industrial design and trademark filings increased by 35%, 16% and 13.3%, respectively.

“Sustained growth in IP filings indicates that companies continue to innovate despite weak economic conditions. This is good news, as it lays the foundation for the world economy to generate growth and prosperity in the future,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.

China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) overtook the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2011 to become the largest patent office in the world, after having surpassed the Japan Patent Office (JPO) in 2010. In the 100 years before 2011, only three patent offices – Germany, Japan and the United States - had occupied the position of largest office.

In the Report’s foreword, Mr. Gurry points out that “even though caution is required in directly comparing IP filing figures across countries, these trends nevertheless reflect how the geography of innovation has shifted.” Read more.

World’s Five Largest Intellectual Property Offices Announce Upcoming Release of First Annual IP5 Statistics Report

A coalition of the world’s five largest patent offices – the IP5 – announced the upcoming release of the IP5 Statistics Report 2011 Edition, which has been designed to facilitate an understanding of operations and patent procedures among the Offices, while providing a means for gauging inventive activity, technology flow, and comparing procedures. The IP5 is comprised of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO).

The IP5 Offices, which together handle about 80% of the world’s patent applications, began meeting in 2007 and have since worked together to explore ways to further optimize their joint efforts to improve quality and efficiency of the examination process and to explore and optimize work sharing opportunities between the Offices.

The IP5 Statistics Report began in 1983 as a project of the Trilateral Cooperation – the EPO, the JPO, and the USPTO. In 2008, the KIPO joined the effort and the first Four Office Statistics Report was produced. The upcoming 2011 IP5 Statistics Report represents a milestone in IP5 cooperation encompassing the full cooperation of all the IP5 Offices including the SIPO, and the IP5 Offices intend to continue holding discussions on statistics and improving the Statistics Report under the IP5 cooperation.

For more information about IP5 cooperation and the release of upcoming 2011 IP5 Statistics Report, see www.fiveipoffices.org.

Conference confirms patent information as core element of the patent system

"Many actors of the patent system focus their attention on the patent granting process. At the EPO, however, we treat patent information with an equal level of priority", said EPO President, Benoît Battistelli.

Opening the 22nd EPO Patent Information Conference, which took place in Hamburg on 6 to 8 November 2012, Mr. Battistelli emphasized that patent information was a core element of the patent system, highlighting recent developments in machine translation and the big-impact Cooperative Patent Classification project, which will enter into force in the new year.

Addressing some 450 delegates, one of the largest attendances ever registered at a patent information conference in Europe, the EPO President said, "We can say today that we are witnessing a dramatic improvement of access to patent information and innovative technologies."

Jointly organized with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA), the Conference addressed a number of important topics, including progress in international patent classification and documentation techniques. Moreover, commercial patent information providers offered an insight on their range of services, providing further evidence of the rapidly growing importance of their business for the expanding global technology market.

Further information is available at http://www.epo.org/news-issues/news/2012/20121109.html

Resources on IP Asset Management

General Information on Training of Trainers Program, the SMEs Section, WIPO

The SMEs Section of WIPO supports the organization of national Training of Trainers (TOT) Programs in countries that have translated and/or adapted the basic materials on IP for Business published by the Section. The objective of the TOTs is to create a critical mass of trainers in the country with enough knowledge and skills to provide assistance to SMEs on effective IP asset management at a basic level. For more details, please see here.

IP PANORAMA TM Multimedia Toolkit

The IP PANORAMA ™ multimedia toolkit is now available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Hungarian, Vietnamese and Thai versions on or through the pages at http://www.wipo.int/sme/en/multimedia/ and http://www.ippanorama.com/.

CD-ROMs of the English, Arabic, French and Spanish versions are also available on request. Anyone interested in receiving a free copy of the CD-ROM may email sme@wipo.int providing the full postal address, including telephone number, and indicating the purpose for which the CD-ROM would be used. Please note that requests without complete postal address will not be processed.


Open Innovation in SMEs: How can small companies and start-ups benefit from open innovation strategies?

Difficult market conditions force SMEs to adapt or reinvent their businesses through new technologies or unique value propositions, but they often lack resources and technical capabilities and must thus collaborate with others to compete. Those that succeed in this transition often employ open innovation. This report by Dr Wim Vanhaverbeke, in collaboration with Ine Vermeersch and Stijn De Zutter found that open innovation can create new opportunities for all types of SME – from start-ups in high-tech markets to players in traditional markets – because they can change business models without having the required technologies in-house.

Defining fair and reasonable conditions in a project for the benefit of SME associations

This case study is based on an experience of a consortium participating in a research for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) associations’ action. The consortium partners in this project faced difficulties to agree on the definition of “fair and reasonable conditions” to be granted to the SME associations.

Inspiring Entrepreneurship Across the World

Empretec is an integrated capacity-building programme of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) that promotes the creation of sustainable support structures that help promising entrepreneurs build innovative and internationally competitive small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), thereby contributing to the development of a dynamic private sector.

Today, the Empretec programme is implemented through national centers, which are currently in operation in 32 countries. Since its formation in 1988, Empretec has successfully trained over 200,000 people – helping to found or expand businesses, and creating thousands of jobs in the process.

Malaysia’s SME Masterplan as the 'Game Changer'

The SME Masterplan will be the 'game changer' to accelerate the growth of SMEs to achieve high income nation status by 2020. The Masterplan will be for all SMEs in Malaysia, irrespective of sector, gender, geographical region and ethnic background. Successful implementation of the Masterplan will result in raising the contribution of SMEs to the economy by 2020: GDP: 41% (2010: 32%); Employment: 62% (2010: 59%); and Exports: 25% (2010: 19%).

Half-day patent searches for SMEs

The Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), in partnership with the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI), will once again offer free half-day patent searches to SMEs starting from 3 December 2012. This is a follow-up to the successful CTI-IPI partnership that began within the framework of the special series of measures taken in 2011. It is also in response to numerous requests by SMEs that this initiative be continued in the context of R&D project promotion.

A Guide to Patents

This booklet explores the two main ways patents assist inventors, business people, and researchers as both a source of protection and a source of information. Although not a complete text on patent laws or a substitute for professional advice you may need from a registered patent agent, this guide is designed to be your introduction to patents and patenting procedures.

How the Inno-Gate system can boost your rate of Innovation Success

Management decisions on whether to proceed and how to execute a specific innovation strategy can seem arbitrary and emotional. They rely on informal processes and limited feedback. In this whitepaper, Andrew Maxwell looks at a formalized process to make the innovation process more predictable.

Patent thickets

The Hargreaves Review of IP and Growth concluded that patent thickets can impact negatively on business and innovation. In response the Government committed to investigating the scale and prevalence of patent thickets, including whether they do in fact present a particular problem to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) seeking to enter technology sectors. This study is the first part of this work.


Search Matters 2013 - 25th edition of the EPO's most successful seminar, Hague, March 18 and 19, 2013

This two day seminar gives experienced patent search professionals from industry and law firms unrivalled access to the know-how and expertise of many EPO patent examiners and other staff working in a variety of technical fields. Lectures in the latest developments in patent classification, search tools and databases will be complemented by a broad range of workshops, presented by EPO experts, on search strategies and the state of the art in particular technological fields, such as telecommunications, biotechnology and climate change mitigation.
Further information is available at http://www.epo.org/learning-events/events/search/search-matters.html

Workshop on the Role of IP in Enhancing the Competitiveness of SMEs, January 28 and 29, 2013 (Beirut, Lebanon)

Program [ DOC] [ PDF]


The SMEs Section 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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