Hello and welcome to Business Planet. We are in Malmo, Sweden. We are going to find out why SMEs that invest more in their intellectual property are more competitive. We are here with Ann Charlotte, a lawyer who specialises in intellectual property.
We have found a great example to illustrate this idea, here in Malmo. Lets have a look.
Intellectual property rights
- IPR protect companies’ intangible assets and allow them to profit from their creations and innovations.
- Forty-two percent of EU GDP is generated by IP-intensive industries that also provide 60 million jobs in Europe.
- Enterprises that protect their IPR’s have 32% higher revenues than those who don’t. They also employ more people and pay higher salaries.
- However only 9% of EU SMEs use intellectual property, compared with 36% of large companies. This is because they do not see the benefits of IPRs for them, they lack the knowledge and expertise or they find procedures to protect their IPRs too costly.
An airbag helmet for cyclists. Last year, 30,000 units of this unique product were sold, in Europe and Japan.
Sensors analyse a cyclist’s movements 200 times a second. And it will deploy in one-tenth of a second in the event of an accident. Since its launch, the airbag helmets has potentially saved 1,000 lives.
Fredrik Carling the CEO of Hövding says: “The most recent study published shows that our product protects persons head up to 8 times better than traditional helmets. And; this is Stanford University that published this paper.”
The company invests 20,000 to 30,000 euros each year in protecting its intellectual property. This reassures investors and has allowed the firm, to raise 25 million euros over the past 10 years. It has grown from a team of two to 30 people and is aiming to double turnover each year by 2020.
Carling adds: “Having done the investment in our portfolio of IPs is enable both to – in a more controlled manner – decide which pace we will roll out in the market. And the second thing, is enabling us to move, not only in the area of cycling, but also into other applications.”
Hövding has benefited of Horizon 2020 funding to develop its innovative product and has been awarded numerous prizes.
SR:We have just seen that is is important to protect patents, but it’s more than that, isn’t it?*
AC “No. One must not forget the other IPR rights like trademarks, design rights, copyrights and also trade secrets, which are very important to protect and also commercialise.”
Fewer than 10 percent of SMEs in Europe protect their intellectual property. The EU provides lots of free help for protecting intellectual property.
SR:Ann Charlotte. Lastly, a little advice. If you want to trade abroad, is there any help out there?
AC: Yes ! There are the SMEIPR Helpdesks in China, South East Asia, and Latin America, where the SME can get advice free of charge by experts and also training sessions!
Thanks Ann Charlotte. There’s more information on the Business Planet website and on our social networks. See you soon.