Dear SME: Intellectual Property Brings Benefit to You

Are you thinking you can’t afford to hold intellectual properties (IP) because of the limited budget? I know some companies want to focus on generating revenues before acquiring IP such as patents and trademarks. However, I would like to show you some study findings here today. 

Study in Europe

The European Patent Office (EPO) and European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) published a report titled “Intellectual property rights and firm performance in the European Union” this month.

The report’s key findings include: 

  • Firms that own IP generate 20% higher revenues per employee than firms without IP portfolios.
  • Firms that own IP also pay on average 19% higher wages than firms without IP portfolios.
  • SMEs that own IP have a 68% higher revenue per employee than SMEs without IP portfolios. 


Study in Japan

A similar study was conducted in Japan. The Japan Patent Office (JPO) published a report on correlation between business performance and ownership of patents in March 2016, which JPO delegated to Institute of Intellectual Property (IIP).

The report found that, in the manufacturing industry, firms that own patents are 6.9% higher in revenue growth rate and 30% higher in profit growth rate than firms without patents.

It also found that there is a difference in the effect between large firms and SMEs:

  • For SMEs, both the number of owned patents and the number of patents implemented by themselves have a positive influence on their business performance, while the strategy of protecting know-how as a trade secret possibly has a negative effect.
  • For large firms, it found that the number of patent applications has a negative influence, while the number of patents implementation by themselves has a positive influence. It suggested that strategic decisions on which technology should be patented and which technology should be protected as know-how are more important for large firms who file a large number of patent applications.

It is not a causal link but there is a correlation between IP and business performance, both reports showed. 

The challenge for SMEs would be to decide to file which IP with their limited resources. The filed IP must contribute to their business in some way. Otherwise, suffice it to say that the IP may become a debt that only requires to pay maintenance fees.

We are willing to help you develop business by maximizing the value of IP assets you have. Please feel free to contact us. 

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