About the project

IP4SME is a project supported by EUIPO and Ideas Powered for Business. The programme aims to create awareness around IP regulations and benefits for European SMEs. Indeed, in the current globalised market, characterised by increased competition, intangible assets are capable of providing a competitive advantage to SMEs in all business sectors.

As a matter of fact, the lack of knowledge of many local companies about Intellectual Property (IP) and the benefits of registering IP rights have hampered the exploitation by SMEs of its potential. According to a study by the European Commission (2022 IP SME Scoreboard), SMEs represented more than 99% of enterprises operating in the EU non-financial business sector. However, only 10% of them owned a registered IP right, reflecting the lack of awareness and barriers that SMEs experience when trying to protect their IP.

It should also be emphasised that intellectual property is perceived as a field of technical legal complexity, where the differences among the enforcement of registered/unregistered tights are not easily understandable. Additionally, SMEs are distrustful of any kind of disclosure of their innovation, even to consultants, being afraid that third parties could take advantage of their interventions. For such reasons, SMEs often decide to rely only on unregistered rights.

Together with its members Confapi (the Italian Confederation of Small and medium-sized private industry), Enterprise Greece, Romanian Ministry of Economy and Commerce, BSMEPA (Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion Agency) and BVMW (the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses), INSME with the technical support of its member De Tullio & Partners is committed to stimulate and strengthen behavioural change towards IP, innovation and growth, making SMEs aware of the strategic use of IP assets and of the protection of trade secrets at the EU level, and of the requirements that have to be met for obtaining such protection.

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