April 26, 2021

World IP Day 2021 - IP & SMEs

We here at IP-Coster would like to wish you a very happy World Intellectual Property Day! Each year on April 26, people across the globe come together to celebrate World IP Day, a tradition that has been ongoing for 21 years, with each year honouring a different theme. The commencement of the annual celebration was kick-started by a decision made by the member states of the WIPO to mark the anniversary of the enactment of the WIPO Convention on the same date in 1970, aiming to popularize and broaden knowledge of IP.

This year's World IP Day theme is named "IP & SMEs: Taking your ideas to market." It can be incredibly important for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to utilise legal protection for their goods and services, in order to build a solid and sustainable reputation among consumers, and distinguish the business from its competitors. It can, however, be difficult for SMEs to know where to begin when it comes to obtaining IP protection, but with World IP Day 2021, a wider understanding of how SMEs can utilise IP to protect their innovations and cultivate a stronger, more steadfast business can be gained.

But just how vital is IP protection for small and medium sized enterprises? SMEs account for a substantial 90% of all global companies and 70% of employment worldwide, demonstrating that smaller businesses are incredibly important to the wider socio-economic sphere. It is therefore vital that small and medium companies protect their IP from the competition, to not just survive, but to thrive.

Furthermore, they constitute 40% of national income to the economies of many countries. In the UK, SMEs contribute approximately half of the total turnover for the private sector, and also provide for β…— of employment. As they are crucial to the fiscal growth of a country, many IP offices have implemented special discounts or grants for SMEs to encourage them to file for IP protection. Similar trends can be seen across the globe, further demonstrating that this year's World IP Day theme is increasingly relevant to recognise, as both crucial for SMEs, and for the wider economic growth of global markets.

Whether you are a small or medium sized enterprise, an inventor, an IP professional or simply someone with an interest in intellectual property, World IP Day is a great opportunity to improve your knowledge about the IP sphere. If you would like to discuss filing for IP rights for your SME, please contact us or visit our website.

Author: Danielle Carvey