IP Outreach Research > IP Use and Awareness


Title: Les PME déposantes de brevets en France: caractéristiques et évolutions récentes
Author: Laura Abitbol and Hahmed Mouzaoui [OSEO], Laurence Joly [INPI]



Year: 2009


Subject/Type: IP Protection
Focus: Commercialisation, Enforcement, Patents
Country/Territory: France
Objective: To find out more about small and medium-sized enterprises that file patents.
Sample: 402 small and medium-sized businesses that had a patent published in 2007
Methodology: Telephone interviews

Main Findings

70% of French small and medium-sized businesses that had a patent published in 2007 are regular patent applicants, while 30% are first-time applicants. The larger the business, the higher the number of patent applications is. The more businesses are involved in research and development (R&D) activities, the more likely they are to apply for patents. About 60% of respondents have benefited from at least one kind of public assistance in their innovation process.

Reasons given for filing patents were: protection against infringements/ensuring liberty of exploitation (63% of small-sized enterprises and 75% of medium-sized enterprises respectively), preventing imitation (57% each), getting an edge over competitors (40% and 54% respectively), getting an innovative image and thus maintain and convince financial/commercial partners (44% and 42% respectively), generating revenue (e.g. by licensing; 33% and 18% respectively), and facilitating cooperation and joint ventures (24% and 13% respectively).

About one in two first-time applicants considered extending their patent protection internationally, while 81% of regular applicants usually extend their patent protection beyond the national level. International patent filings mostly concern Europe, the US and Asia.

19% of small businesses and 36% of medium-sized businesses have licensed technologies to other businesses. 11% of small businesses and 34% of medium businesses have licensed technologies from other businesses. Businesses most active in R&D licensed and acquired technologies at the highest rates.

In 79% of small businesses, the CEO is responsible for managing industrial property (in 11% a specialised service; and in 10% an internal specialist). In 39% of medium businesses, a special service manages industrial property (in 38% an internal specialist; and in 23% the CEO).

One in four small businesses and 57% of medium-sized businesses have been involved in (offensive or defensive) litigation concerning counterfeiting.

[Date Added: Apr 9, 2009 ]