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World Intellectual Property Day – April 26, 2021

IP and SMEs Taking your ideas to market


IP & SMEs: Taking your ideas to market

Every April 26, we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to learn about the role that intellectual property (IP) rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity.

Every business starts with an idea. Each of the millions of SMEs that operate across the globe every day started with an idea that took shape in someone’s mind and made its way to market.

When nurtured and enriched with ingenuity, know-how and flair an idea becomes an IP asset that can drive business development, economic recovery and human progress.

Creative minds the world over – architects, artists, artisans, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists and many others – come up with new ideas every day. From the arts to artificial intelligence, fashion to farming, renewable energy to retail, television to tourism, and virtual reality to videogames, to name just a few.

Some of their ideas translate into the products and services we want to buy. Others don’t make it. The journey to market can be perilous. But with a focus on IP, businesses can anticipate, navigate and better manage the many twists and turns that pave the road to commercialization.

At a time when the imperative of economic recovery is high, World Intellectual Property Day 2021 shines a light on the critical role of SMEs in the economy and how they can use IP rights to build stronger, more competitive and resilient businesses.

SMEs are the backbone of national economies. They deliver the goods and services we need every day; they hatch breakthrough innovations and inspiring creations and they create jobs; some become the world leading businesses of tomorrow.

SMEs make up around 90 percent of the world’s businesses, employ around 50 percent of the global workforce and generate up to 40 percent of national income in many emerging economies, more, if you count informal businesses.

Each of these business ventures has taken an idea and married it with ingenuity to create a product or a service that consumers want. And each of them can use IP rights to safeguard and create value from their business assets. Yet many are unaware that they hold IP or that it has value. This means, many are missing out on opportunities to improve their bottom line and grow. Studies show that when businesses are IP savvy, and when they acquire and manage IP rights, they do better.

If you are new to the world of IP, World Intellectual Property Day 2021 is an opportunity to find out how the tools of the IP system – trademarks, design rights, copyright, patents, trade secrets, geographical indications, and more – can support you when taking your ideas to market.

With IP rights you can turn an idea into a business opportunity, generate value, create employment and enrich the choice of products available to consumers. With IP your business can flourish and your community can thrive. World IP Day 2021 also highlights the central role that WIPO and national and regional IP offices around the world play in creating favorable conditions for SMEs to drive innovation and creativity, power economic recovery and create employment.

Join us in celebrating the ingenuity and creativity that lies behind every SME, their courage to make a difference and the contributions they make in enhancing our daily lives. Support your local SMEs and champion local innovation.


Suggested virtual activities for World IP Day
In light of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, World IP Day 2021 is being promoted as a virtual campaign.

What can my organization do?

...to engage the public

. Run online essay competitions for young people on themes relating to IP, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), innovation, piracy and counterfeiting, etc.

. Celebrate the work of a successful SME, entrepreneur, inventor, artist, designer, etc., online.

. Run virtual workshops to inform specific users or potential users – entrepreneurs, artists, performers, photographers, musicians, inventors, etc. – about intellectual property (IP) rights, how they work and the IP services that are available.

. Create and make available online locally-focused IP Day publicity materials, such as posters, brochures, and broadcast spots that explain the important role that SMEs play in the economy and how they can use IP rights to build stronger, more competitive and resilient businesses.

. Post an IP Day banner on the web portal of your IP or copyright office.

. Create a website containing general information about IP, case studies, videos, IP Day activities, quizzes, voting, etc.

. Promote your IP Day activities through social media using the #WorldIPDay hashtag, live event updates and Twitter chats.

. Run an online photo competition in line with the main theme to highlight how copyright works in practice and how it can support creators.

. Find a spokesperson or create a spokes-character and feature them online.

. Produce and post online interviews, videos, podcasts, etc., featuring entrepreneurs, artists and inventors talking about their work and how it relates to IP.

. Release studies, statistical data, surveys, etc., about SMEs that have built their success around IP, the IP services available to SMEs, the damage caused by counterfeiting and piracy, attitudes towards innovation, etc.

. Team up with a local law firm or academic institution to organize a free IP consultation or Q&A session on your social media channels or other online platforms for people interested in learning about the best ways to take their ideas to market and protect their IP assets.

. Launch a social media campaign encouraging budding and established entrepreneurs/creators to share their experiences of using the IP system and their views on how they would like to see the system evolve (via traditional blog posts, video blog entries, etc.).

. Explain the role of IP for SMEs.

...to engage the media

. Work with local newspapers and media outlets to publish editorials and articles on IP- and SME-related themes, such as IP valuation, IP finance, IP infringement, IP licensing, IP infringement.

. Get in touch with radio and television stations to broadcast discussion programs about the critical role the SMEs play in the economy and how they can use IP rights to build stronger, more competitive and resilient businesses.

. Hold a virtual press conference on your IP Day activities.

. Produce digital-press packs with easy-to-digest facts and figures for time-pressed journalists.

...to engage businesses

. Run virtual workshops with local businesses and chambers of commerce on how small- and medium-sized enterprises can benefit from using the IP system and other topics such as IP valuation, IP finance, IP infringement, IP licensing, IP infringement.

. Work with local inventors' associations or designers to announce SME invention or design awards.


...to engage schools/universities

. Hold webinars or online conferences in universities to build awareness of the benefit of IP among students, faculty and researchers.

. Mark IP Day in schools with: digital invention competitions to solve common problems; or video presentations by entrepreneurs, inventors, artists, etc. on how IP supports them and their enterprises.


Source: https://www.wipo.int/ip-outreach/en/ipday/