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EUIPO’s Study on the Impact of Intellectual Property Protection on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Within the activities of celebrating the tenth anniversary of the operation of the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights (hereinafter: EU Observatory) at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), a special video content on the work of the EU Observatory was published as well as the third edition of the study titled “Intellectual Property SME Scoreboard 2022”.

As to the content, this study is a continuation of research conducted in 2016 and 2019 among small and medium-sized enterprises (hereinafter: SMEs) from the European Union, and it was conducted with the aim of determining whether and to what extent SMEs use intellectual property rights to protect their business. The research was conducted on a sample of 8,372 companies from all 27 Member States of the European Union, and 81 companies among them were from the Republic of Croatia (more detailed information on page 19 of the study).

In total, 10% of SMEs answered in the survey that they are holders of registered intellectual property rights, with national trademark registration being the most common form of protection (6%), followed by EU trademarks and patents. SMEs, however, also use other measures and forms of protection of their intellectual property, which include internet domain registration (39%), protection of business secrets (19%), protection of unregistered designs (16%), protection of databases (13%) and copyright protection (10%).

As the main reasons for registering their intellectual (industrial) property rights, 66% of respondents reported prevention of copying of their products or services, 65% indicated an increase in the value and reputation of the company, 63% cited reasons for legal security, 51% achievement of effective enforcement of intellectual property rights, and 50% of respondents thought that protection would strengthen their negotiating position in business. Also, 26% of respondents stated that they expect to receive compensation from licensing their rights.

A total of 93% of companies that registered intellectual property rights reported to have seen positive effects of such registration, mainly in the form of strengthening the company's reputation.

The largest number of SMEs that did not register intellectual property rights stated for a reason of such a decision that they did not see additional benefits from such protection (35%), and the additionally stated reasons related to insufficient innovation of products or services, lack of necessary knowledge, etc.

SMEs account for a significant part of the European Union's economic operations, and some of these companies develop new solutions for some of today's biggest challenges, such as climate change and the sustainable and efficient use of resources. The results of this study are therefore an important source of data for the implementation of measures and initiatives aimed at helping and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, which are part of strategic documents or programs of the European Commission and the EUIPO.

More on the results of this study and the methodology of research conducted is available here.

Datum novosti: 03/10/2022