About Intellectual Property IP Training IP Outreach IP for… IP and... IP in... Patent & Technology Information Trademark Information Industrial Design Information Geographical Indication Information Plant Variety Information (UPOV) IP Laws, Treaties & Judgements IP Resources IP Reports Patent Protection Trademark Protection Industrial Design Protection Geographical Indication Protection Plant Variety Protection (UPOV) IP Dispute Resolution IP Office Business Solutions Paying for IP Services Negotiation & Decision-Making Development Cooperation Innovation Support Public-Private Partnerships The Organization Working with WIPO Accountability Patents Trademarks Industrial Designs Geographical Indications Copyright Trade Secrets WIPO Academy Workshops & Seminars World IP Day WIPO Magazine Raising Awareness Case Studies & Success Stories IP News WIPO Awards Business Universities Indigenous Peoples Judiciaries Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions Economics Gender Equality Global Health Climate Change Competition Policy Sustainable Development Goals Enforcement Frontier Technologies Mobile Applications Sports Tourism PATENTSCOPE Patent Analytics International Patent Classification ARDI – Research for Innovation ASPI – Specialized Patent Information Global Brand Database Madrid Monitor Article 6ter Express Database Nice Classification Vienna Classification Global Design Database International Designs Bulletin Hague Express Database Locarno Classification Lisbon Express Database Global Brand Database for GIs PLUTO Plant Variety Database GENIE Database WIPO-Administered Treaties WIPO Lex - IP Laws, Treaties & Judgments WIPO Standards IP Statistics WIPO Pearl (Terminology) WIPO Publications Country IP Profiles WIPO Knowledge Center WIPO Technology Trends Global Innovation Index World Intellectual Property Report PCT – The International Patent System ePCT Budapest – The International Microorganism Deposit System Madrid – The International Trademark System eMadrid Article 6ter (armorial bearings, flags, state emblems) Hague – The International Design System eHague Lisbon – The International System of Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications eLisbon UPOV PRISMA Mediation Arbitration Expert Determination Domain Name Disputes Centralized Access to Search and Examination (CASE) Digital Access Service (DAS) WIPO Pay Current Account at WIPO WIPO Assemblies Standing Committees Calendar of Meetings WIPO Official Documents Development Agenda Technical Assistance IP Training Institutions COVID-19 Support National IP Strategies Policy & Legislative Advice Cooperation Hub Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISC) Technology Transfer Inventor Assistance Program WIPO GREEN WIPO's Pat-INFORMED Accessible Books Consortium WIPO for Creators WIPO ALERT Member States Observers Director General Activities by Unit External Offices Job Vacancies Procurement Results & Budget Financial Reporting Oversight

WIPO WASME Special Program Highlights Importance of Intellectual Property for Small and Medium Enterprises (Smes)

Geneva, May 11, 2004
Press Updates UPD/2004/224

The use of intellectual property as a strategic tool for business development was the focus of a four-day workshop organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME), in Geneva from May 3 to 6, 2004. Some 25 self-financed participants comprising entrepreneurs, business consultants, bankers, representatives of intellectual property (IP) offices and SMEs support institutions from Egypt, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Republic of Belarus, Romania, South Africa and Switzerland, attended the Program. Representatives from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) also participated in the meeting as part of their growing interest in IP for business issues.

In addressing participants, WIPO Deputy Director General, Mrs. Rita Hayes, applauded WASME for its efforts in promoting the use of intellectual property among SMEs and underlined the pivotal role that such associations played in raising awareness of the strategic use of intellectual property to business. Mrs. Hayes further underlined WIPO's willingness maintain an open dialogue with SME associations to support them in meeting the needs of their constituents.

Dr Arun Agrawal, Secretary General of WASME, reiterated his Organization's keenness to continue working with WIPO to boost awareness of the role and potential of IPRs in furthering the business interests of SMEs. Dr. Agrawal underlined the importance of facilitating access by SMEs and SME associations in developing countries to a network of IP trainers. The specialist assistance offered by such IP trainers would enhance the effectiveness of national and provincial SME associations as well as technology and business information centres and institutes of higher knowledge and learning.

The event was organized within the framework of WIPO's drive to empower SMEs to make more effective use of the IP system to identify, develop, protect and manage the knowledge they create and own. SMEs are a highly dynamic and economically important sector contributing more than 90% of the gross national product (GNP) of many countries. This is the second training program co-organized by WIPO and WASME. Additional WIPO-WASME joint training programs include a workshop for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working for SME development in November 2004 and a seminar targetting NGOs working with female entrepreneurs in 2005.

The four-day event covered sixteen presentations on business-related topics including branding, IP ownership, valuation of IP assets, accounting and IP, the role of IP in raising finance, as well as general IP topics dealing with trade secrets, patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright, the international filing and registration systems for patents, trademarks and industrial designs administered by WIPO and other international intellectual property related agreements.

For more information and material on IP for SMEs, visit the web site of the SMEs Division of WIPO and subscribe to the free monthly e-newsletter of the SMEs Division or contact the Media Relations and Public Affairs Section at WIPO: Tel: +41 22 338 8161/338 9547; e-mail: mailto:publicinf@wipo.int.