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



The United States: Balancing Robust Protection with Rapid Innovation

This chapter looks at how the United States of America is adapting its intellectual property rights (IPR) system to the challenges and opportunities presented by fast moving industries such as biotechnology and information technology.

Analysis of the implications of the latest US Supreme Court decisions is presented alongside a study of the day-to-day issues faced by SME technology firms and practical recommendations for both policy makers and practitioners. In-depth case studies sourced directly from interviews with top executives offer a compelling insight into how SMEs structure their operations to identify, protect and defend IPRs with limited resources in an increasingly global marketplace.

Results from a survey across multiple industries provide a snapshot of the IPR practices of SMEs, re-enforce the case for key policy enhancements and reveal some unexpected trends such as the increasing use of open source innovation in the biomedical field.


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