The evidence is clear: European companies that manage and exploit their intellectual property correctly have higher revenues, employ more people and pay higher salaries than firms that don't.
In a bid to encourage businesses in Europe to better protect their IP and intangible assets, the European Union has put in place a free-of-charge network of IP helpdesks to support SMEs.
Business Planet spoke to Professor Alexandru Marin, an Ambassador for the European IP Helpdesk based in Romania.
Why is it important for companies, especially small firms, to manage their IP portfolio correctly?
“For all companies, organisations, it is important to do their IP management correctly because this ensures an increase in quality, of integrity, of being competitive and ensures the capacity to be in the market.”
Are companies that protect their IP more competitive?
“If you care about IP, you can be more competitive. So the connection between IP protection and being competitive is a direct one. I want to emphasize as much as possible the importance of capitalisation and understanding that this IP protection is not only a cost. It means some costs, it's not easy to do it. If you go international, it costs a lot of money. For example if you go in several countries in Europe, it might cost about 40,000 euro. But, we should see behind [this] the importance of the investment. And you can increase your revenues and your profitability when you care about it, but I advise not to do it alone. SMEs, especially, should use services like mine or my colleagues or professionals, IP attorneys, different services they can help them, especially concerning IP protection.”
How can companies wanting to better protect their IP get in touch with somebody like you?
"First of all there is a European help desk, IP Help Desk. Inside the framework of this IP Helpdesk service exists a network of ambassadors. I'm a part of them. In Romania we have three ambassadors, which cover more or less regionally, the three main important regions in Romania and because of this we can be near to the companies and they have the job to do services for SMEs, especially to increase their knowledge about IP protection and capitalisation."