Intellectual Assets and Innovation

The SME Dimension

image of Intellectual Assets and Innovation

Intellectual Property Rights can be instrumental for SMEs to protect and build on their innovations; position themselves competitively vis-à-vis larger enterprises in global markets; gain access to revenues; signal current and prospective value to investors, competitors and partners; access knowledge markets and networks; open up new commercial pathways; or segment existing markets.  However, while there is increasing recognition of their significance, as well as  the need for appropriate intellectual asset management for SMEs across OECD countries, there are few regulatory frameworks or specific instruments directed to SMEs. This is in part due the pace of technological innovation, which often exceeds the time it takes for policy makers to create appropriate responses to the changing landscape of intellectual property.   This study explores the relations between SME intellectual asset management, innovation and competitiveness in different national and sectoral contexts. It provides insights on the ability of SMEs to access and utilise the protection systems available to them and identifies key challenges for SMEs in appropriating full value from IPRs. It also investigates effectiveness of regulatory frameworks and policy measures to support SME access to IPRs, identifying best practices and proposing policy recommendations



Italy: Channelling Creativity into Competitiveness

This chapter illustrates the opportunities and challenges for Italian SMEs in creating value from intellectual assets in “design-driven” manufacturing industries, typically targeted at high quality markets. In these industries, which are at the core of the “Made in Italy” system, firms build competitive advantage by combining intangibles with technology and manufacturing skills. Based on evidence on access to formal IP tools, experts’ views and a range of SME cases across different industries, the chapter highlights key challenges that Italian SMEs in these sectors face in turning creativity into actual innovation and market value and in integrating intellectual property rights in their business models. The study provides a review of recent developments in the Italian IP landscape and comments on their relevance for SMEs. It concludes with policy recommendations for improving the capacity of SMEs to manage their intellectual assets strategically and build on them to increase international competitiveness.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error