"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 ['can be' -- but the same rights 'can be' a means by which SMEs bankrupt themselves though over-expenditure in acquiring them and over-extending themselves when seeking to enforce them. That's why it's a shame that ...] .... 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 [the 'different sectoral contexts' approach is vital, since IPRs behave so differently in their respective contexts and we have suffered too long from 'one size fits all' prescriptive analyses of the IP needs of SMEs]. 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 study is available in print and pdf formats. Full details are available from the OECD's bookshop website here.
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