IP Guide for SMEs
6+6 Drivers for Entrepreneurship
8 Key Entrepreneurial Questions
Entrepreneurship: Barriers and Keys To Success
ICT for SMEs
Modern IT-powered Value Chain
Benefits of e-Business
Internet Business and Revenue Models
Social Media Marketing
Small Business Growth Strategies
Guidelines on Technology Management for SMEs
Enterprise survey and
Formulation of a Technology Strategy
Technology-driven Business Strategy
Surprise To Win: 3 Strategies
Competitive Strategies: 2 Types
Sustainable Competitive Advantage
Why is IP Relevant to Your SME?
IP for Competitiveness and Development
Why is IP Critical to Marketing
of Your Products?
How Can IP Enhance the Market
Value of Your SME?
How Can IP Enhance Export
Venture Financing Funnel
Using IP Assets to Finance Your
Primer on IPR
Start-Up Company's IP Strategies
Protecting Your Business Name
Managing Intellectual Assets of
Auditing Your IP
Developing IP Strategy
How can Your SME Acquire and
Protecting the IPR of Your SME
Protecting Trade Secrets of
Licensing of IPR
Protecting Your Business Name
Why Trademarks are Relevant to
Using Patent Information
Turning Your Inventions into
Procedures for the Grant and
Protecting Innovations by
How Can Your SME Benefit from
Resolve Disputes Related to IP?
Useful Tips for Your SME as a
If your company is directly
involved in the so-called “copyright
industries,” e.g. creating, publishing, recording, distributing or selling works
protected by copyright or related rights, you should make sure you are aware of
your rights and take appropriate measures to exercise, license and enforce them.
But even if you are not directly involved in the “copyright industries,” your
enterprise may occasionally produce some works protected by copyright or related
rights. Corporate publications, brochures,
websites, TV or newspaper
marketing videos are all likely to be protected under copyright legislation.
Either way, if you believe that
your enterprise has created works protected by copyright or related rights and
you wish to maximize your SME’s
rewards from such works, it would be prudent for you to seek the advice of your
national copyright office or of a copyright lawyer. The following are some of
the questions you could ask to better understand the copyright system in your
Is there a copyright depositary?
As a general rule, copyright
protection is automatic and does not depend on registration. In some countries,
however, there is a copyright depositary and registering your work in the
depository would be a smart choice as it would considerably assist you in case
of dispute for example over the ownership of the work.
Who owns the rights?
The owner of copyright in a work is
generally the original creator or author of the work. There are, however, some
exceptions to this rule. In some countries, for example, the economic rights
over a copyright work are deemed to vest initially in the employer/producer,
while in some others these are deemed to be assigned or transferred to the
employer/producer. It would therefore be advisable to find out about the
specific regulations in your own country.
What are my rights?
The exclusive rights which are accorded to authors and right holders under
national copyright legislation vary from one country to another. However,
exclusive rights usually encompass, for example, the right of reproduction
(right of making copies), the right of public performance, the right of
broadcasting, and the right of adaptation. Also an increasing number of
countries provide right holders with rights in relation to the distribution of
their works over the Internet as well as protection against the circumvention of
technological protection measures. Thus, it would be worthwhile finding out what
rights are provided under your national copyright legislation in order for your
SME to fully benefit from the protection of copyright and related rights. In
order to facilitate legitimate trade of copyright works, it should also be kept
in mind that the economic rights granted to authors have a time limit, according
to the WIPO treaties, of 50 years after the creator’s death. Longer periods of
protection might be provided at the national level. Collective management
organizations are usually in a position to provide appropriate information on
the issue. Do also remember that copyright protection usually includes moral
rights which include the right to claim authorship of a work and the right to
oppose changes to it that could harm the creator's reputation.
How do I obtain international
protection for my works?
If the country of which you are a
national or a resident has ratified the international conventions in the field
of copyright and related rights administered by WIPO, such as the Berne
Convention, or is a member of the World Trade Organization and has implemented
its obligations under the TRIPS Agreement, or if you have published your work
for the first time or at least simultaneously in one of the above countries,
your work protected by copyright will benefit from automatic protection in a
large number of countries. If this is not the case, there may still be some
reciprocal agreements between your country and some foreign countries that
provide similar rights.
How should I license my works?
If you wish to license your work to users such as broadcasters, publishers, or
even entertainment establishments of any kind, ranging from bars to nightclubs,
collective management society
may be a good option. Collective management organizations monitor uses of works
on behalf of creators and are in charge of negotiating licenses and collecting
remuneration. They are particularly common in the field of musical and literary
works where there may be a large number of users of the same work and it would
be difficult both for the owner of rights and the users to seek specific
authorization for every single use and to monitor them. Where collective
management societies are not available,
need to be
individually with the licensee. Expert advice may be useful for obtaining
advantageous terms in the licensing contract.
How should I enforce my rights?
The creator of a work has the right to allow or to prohibit the use of his work.
If you discover anybody using your copyright works without authorization you may
enforce your rights administratively and in the courts. In many countries,
so-called border measures to prevent the importation of pirated copyright goods
are also available. Expert advice by an IP agent or attorney, the Copyright
Office or the customs authorities would be crucial whenever you discover that
your works are being infringed (also see "What
Should Your SME do to Resolve Disputes Related to Intellectual Property?").
Some works such as software products phonograms and audiovisual works may
include technological measures of protection (e.g. encryptions, conditional
access systems) to safeguard them from unlicensed use. Such systems are means by
which right owners may limit access to those customers who accept certain
conditions for the use of works and the payment to be made for such use.
Tips for Your SME as a Copyright