Intellectual Property  Management (IPM)

IP Primer


Intellectual Property (IP) Guide
for small and medium-sized enterprises (


By: World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)




To many, intellectual property (IP) is a rather obscure legal concept that can only be properly understood and applied by those who are specially trained. You may be asking yourself why any small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) and, more so, your SME should pay attention to IP, or what benefits your SME could possibly draw from its use. The following links may provide answers to some of these questions.

Why Is Intellectual Property Relevant To Your SME?

Along with human creativity and inventiveness, intellectual property is all around us. Every product or service that we use in our daily lives is the result of a long chain of big or small innovations, such as changes in designs, or improvements that make a product look or function the way it does today.

Take a simple product. For example, a pen. Ladislao Biro’s famous patent on ballpoint pens was in many ways a breakthrough. But, like him, many others have improved the product and its designs and legally protected their improvements through the acquisition of IP rights. The trademark on your pen is also intellectual property, and it helps the producer to market the product and develop a loyal clientele.

And this would be the case with almost any product or service in the marketplace. Take any innovative product. Patent protection is likely to have been obtained for its various technical parts. Its design may be protected by industrial design rights. The brand name is most probably protected by a trademark and the software it uses is also somehow protected.


IP for Competitiveness

Why is IP Relevant to Your SME?

Protecting Your Business Name

Using IP Assets to Finance Your Business

Protecting IP Abroad

Why is IP Critical to Marketing of Your Products/Services?

How Can IP Enhance the Market Value of Your SME?

How Can IP Enhance Export Opportunities of Your SME?

Licensing of IPR

What Should Your SME Do to Resolve Disputes Related to IP?

Case Studies

Small Business Growth Strategies

Managing Intellectual Assets of Your SME

Guidelines on Technology Management for SMEs

Enterprise survey and technology auditing

Formulation of a Technology Strategy

Development of a Technology-driven Business Strategy


How Can Your SME Benefit from Copyright





So, How Does this Affect Your Business?

Regardless of what product your enterprise makes or what service it provides, it is likely that it is regularly using and creating a great deal of intellectual property.

This being the case, you should systematically consider the steps required for protecting, managing and enforcing it, so as to get the best possible commercial results from its ownership.

If you are using intellectual property that belongs to others, then you should consider buying it or acquiring the rights to use it by taking a license in order to avoid a dispute and consequent expensive litigation.

Almost every SME has a trade name or one or more trademarks and should consider protecting them.

Most SMEs will have valuable confidential business information, from customers' lists to sales tactics that they may wish to protect.

A large number would have developed creative original designs. Many would have produced, or assisted in the publication, dissemination or retailing of a copyrighted work. Some may have invented or improved a product or service.

In all such cases, your SME should consider how best to use the IP system to its own benefit. Remember that IP may assist your SME in almost every aspect of your business development and competitive strategy: from product development to product design, from service delivery to marketing, and from raising financial resources to exporting or expanding your business abroad through licensing or franchising.

To find out how all this and many other things may happen, follow through the pages of this web site and discover the world of intellectual property and the opportunities it offers to your SME.


Start-Up Company's IP Strategies

Auditing Your IP

Developing IP Strategy

How can Your SME Acquire and Maintain IPR?

Protecting the IPR of Your SME Abroad

Protecting Trade Secrets of Your SME


Frequently Asked Questions

Using Patent Information

Turning Your Inventions into Profit-making Assets

Procedures for the Grant and Maintenance


Why Trademarks are Relevant to Your SME?

Frequently Asked Questions

Well-Known Marks

Collective Marks

Trademark Registration


Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights

Industrial Designs

Geographical Indications

Trade Secrets

Utility Models

Protecting Innovations by Utility Models