WIPO Publishes Guide on Patents for Business

Geneva, June 28, 2005
Press Updates UPD/2005/254

Entrepreneurs, inventors and small and medium-sized businesses can now consult a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) publication that explains, in practical terms, using concrete examples, how patents can be used to further strategic business goals. The guide, entitled "Inventing the Future: An Introduction to Patents for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises," is the third in the "Intellectual Property for Business" series.

A company's patent strategy is a key component of its overall innovation and business plan. In today's highly competitive business environment, an understanding of the intellectual property system in general and patents in particular, is central to an effective approach to managing innovation. An IP-focused business strategy will help to ensure that the company draws maximum benefit from its own innovative capacity, establishes profitable partnerships and avoids making unauthorized use of technology owned by others.

The guide explores some of the most frequently asked questions about the patent system, providing companies with hints and tips on how to go about developing a patent strategy that is suited to their needs. While readers are advised to consult a patent expert when seeking to protect, exploit or enforce a patent, the guide provides practical information to help readers understand the basics and to enable them to ask the right questions when consulting a patenting expert.

The guide follows a format similar to the first guide in the series entitled "Making a Mark: An Introduction to Trademarks for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises", which is already available in English, French and Spanish and will soon be available in Arabic, Chinese and Russian. A similar publication also exists on designs. Future publications in the series are expected in the course of this year and include guides on copyright, domain names, trade secrets, licensing and the valuation of intellectual property assets.

WIPO is ready to work with any credible partner to customize its series of guides based on national legislation, regulations, practices, forms, fees, institutions, case law and the specific administrative procedures available in each country. Customized versions will ensure that the guides are suitable to SMEs by providing information that is adapted to each specific national context. Customization of the first two guides in the series is currently being undertaken by institutions in over 50 countries. Interested parties are encouraged to visit the website of the SMEs Division to obtain a copy of the guidelines for customization and associated procedures (https://www.wipo.int/sme/en/documents/guides_manuals.htm).

"Inventing the Future: An Introduction to Patents for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises" can be downloaded as a PDF document from WIPO's SME website or may be obtained in hard copy by writing to publications.mail@wipo.int. For more information on IP for SMEs visit https://www.wipo.int/sme and subscribe to the free monthly electronic newsletter of the SMEs Division or contact the Media Relations and Public Affairs Section at WIPO on +41 22 338 8161 or 338 9547; e-mail: publicinf@wipo.int