WIPO Publishes Guide on Copyright and Related Rights for Business

Geneva, December 11, 2006
Press Releases UPD/2006/282

Entrepreneurs, managers and staff of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) can now consult a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) publication that explains, in practical terms, using concrete examples, how copyright and related rights can be used to further strategic business goals. The guide, entitled "Creative Expression: An Introduction to Copyright and Related Rights for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises," is the fourth in the "Intellectual Property for Business" series.

The revolution in digital technologies has transformed the landscape of entertainment and marketing, creating enormous economic opportunities and underlining the importance of copyright and related rights to business. Entrepreneurs and business employees are likely to create or use materials that are protected by copyright and related rights on a daily basis. Unfortunately, however, companies often fail to protect their valuable intellectual capital because the central role and importance of copyright and related rights in protecting business assets is not widely recognized. Assets that can be protected by copyright and related rights include: computer programs; website content; product catalogs; newsletters; operating manuals for machines or consumer products; maintenance manuals for various types of equipment; artwork and text on product literature, labels or packaging; and advertising materials.

The new WIPO guide explores some of the most frequently asked questions about the copyright and related rights system, providing companies with hints and tips on how to go about developing a copyright strategy that is suited to their needs. The guide provides practical information to help readers understand what is protectable under copyright and related rights, how to protect the works that they create or in which they own rights; how to get the most out of their copyright and/or related rights; and how to avoid violating the copyright or related rights of others.

The guide follows a format similar to the other three guides in the series entitled "Making a Mark: An Introduction to Trademarks for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises", "Looking Good: An Introduction to Industrial Designs for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises" and "Inventing the Future: An Introduction to Patents for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises," which are already available in various languages.

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 for SMEs by providing information that is adapted to specific national contexts. Customization of the first two guides in the series (on trademarks and designs) 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/customization.html).

"Creative Expression: An Introduction to Copyright and Related Rights 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 intellectual property 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 95 47; e-mail: publicinf@wipo.int.