Over 93 % of SMEs see positive impact from registering IP rights

30 September, 2022
Observatory scoreboard
Protecting your ideas
The third edition of the Intellectual Property SME Scoreboard provides quality data on how SMEs protect their innovation and creativity in 2022.

The 2022 edition of the Intellectual Property SME Scoreboard, one of the EUIPO’s flagship studies, released today by the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights (Observatory), shows that only 10 % of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the EU own registered intellectual property (IP) rights such as national and European trade marks, designs and patents.

The 2022 SME Scoreboard also shows that nearly all (93 %) SMEs with registered IP rights experienced a positive impact, on their business.

SMEs cited improved reputation or image of the company (60 %), better IP protection (58 %), and better long-term business prospects (48 %) due to registering their IP rights.

Why IP registration matters

The data from the SME Scoreboard confirms the positive impact of registration. A third of SMEs (36 %) that own IP rights say that they have achieved financial gain from their registered IP rights.

Looking at the reasons for not registering, SMEs stated that the primary reason was that they did not see additional benefits from registering IP rights (35 %). Other reasons mentioned include: thinking their intellectual asset was not innovative enough for registration (20 %); insufficient knowledge (19 %); or registration requirements not being met (19 %).

IP rights infringement

The study also looks at infringement and how SMEs cope with this problem. Among the SMEs that own a registered IP right, 15 % have suffered from infringement of their IP rights, resulting in a loss of turnover and reputation. 9 out of 10 of those SMEs have taken measures to enforce their IP rights.

Support for SMEs

SMEs represent 99 % of all businesses in the EU. They employ around 100 million people, and account for more than half of Europe’s GDP. Despite being heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, they play a key role in every sector of the economy and are vital in driving innovation.

The EUIPO, together with the European Commission and the national and regional IP offices of the EU, has launched a set of initiatives to support EU SMEs in the field of intellectual property, including the SME Fund, set up in the wake of the pandemic and still running. This grant scheme that provides financial aid to SMEs for trade mark, design and patent applications as well as for personalised IP support (‘IP Scan’). More than 30 000 businesses in the EU have applied for this initiative since it began in January 2021. 

This study is the third edition of the SME Scoreboard series, first released in 2016 and then again in 2019.
Furthermore, this year the Observatory celebrates its 10th anniversary at the EUIPO. The Observatory’s annual plenary meeting is being held on 28 and 29 September in Alicante.

Download the full report.

Article first published here.