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



Nordic Countries: Matching Exceptional Design and Creativity with Progressive Policy

Sharing a number of cultural and legal traditions and a strong reputation for design excellence, the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) provide an interesting case to examine the similarities and differences in SMEs’ management of intellectual assets. This chapter analyses the ways in which Nordic SMEs in the creative industries (publishing, design, film production and art) manage their intellectual assets using intellectual property rights (IPRs). Using information gathered through interviews with experts, case studies of firms in the film and design industries and a survey of firms across a number of industries, key challenges and obstacles to effective management of intellectual assets by SMEs are identified. The chapter presents an overview of the IP regulation landscape across the Nordic region, commenting on regulatory reforms and identifying innovative programmes and good practices. Finally, a series of recommendations are proposed for ways in which governments could contribute to improved management of intellectual assets by SMEs.


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