The strategic use of intellectual property to substantially increase the competitiveness of an SME
02 Jun 2020

The strategic use of intellectual property to substantially increase the competitiveness of an SME

Intellectual property is everywhere, it is a constant element of the reality that surrounds us.  All of the products and services we currently use are the result of the minor, and sometimes major, creations, improvements and innovations that have emerged over time.

Intellectual property rights can protect an invention in different ways; patents protect the various technical parts of the
invention, its designs or industrial models, while the trademark under which the product is marketed, and even copyrights, protect the images or sounds included in the invention.

In the vast majority of countries, intellectual property is divided into two branches: Intellectual Property or copyrights, which protect literary and artistic creations (novels, sculptures, photographs, etc., but also databases and computer programs), and Industrial Property, which protects technical creations (inventions and designs by way of patents and industrial designs) and their identification in the marketplace (trademarks and trade names). 

Almost every company, be they multinationals or SMEs, have a business name under which they trade and one or several trademarks that it would be in their best interests to protect. Many of these companies have developed original and creative designs and models and have even created content intended for publication or distribution; content likely to be protected by copyright.

Intellectual property is something every creator acquires the moment they complete a project resulting from their individual activity. It applies to original creations, be they literary or artistic, expressed through any medium. Intellectual property can thus be well defined as the group of rights to which the owners and authors are entitled with regard to a project and the benefits brought about by its creation. In other words, these are the creations or inventions, names, symbols and images used, for example, in the company's business activities.

What influence does intellectual property have in your company?

Regardless of the sector in which you do business, it is more than likely you are generating a series of intellectual property assets that you are overlooking and, as a result, losing out on. There are companies, above all SMEs, who do not see the value of intellectual property and, therefore, do not even consider the future profits it might bring. Strategic use of intellectual property can substantially raise the competitiveness of an SME.

  • The granting of licenses can improve the market share or increase the profit margin of a product or service.
  • Intellectual property rights can increase a company's value in the eyes of investors and financial institutions.
  • Industrial and intellectual property assets are even, on many occasions, the main asset in the sale, merger or acquisition of a company.

How can we help with the management of your company’s intellectual property?

Your company can improve a service or product, invent one, produce or contribute to spreading sales and publication of work that might be protected by copyright. Under these circumstances, the best way of using industrial and intellectual property to help your business would have to be studied.

And you will ask, which elements of my company can be protected by intellectual property? Well, everything from innovative products and procedures, innovative designs and models, distinctive images (mainly via the protection of trademarks), cultural, artistic and literary works, which also include, in the majority of countries, computer programs and databases, the names of products of a certain quality or reputation attributable to their geographic origin (via the protection of geographical indications) and trade secrets (via the protection of unrevealed information of commercial value).

Intellectual property as a value for your business

In the same way that you protect the physical assets of your company, the intangible assets, such as intellectual property, must be acquired and maintained, supervised, and carefully managed in order to extract all of their value.  In other words, you must also pay attention to the management of that intellectual property so as to ensure the international legislation protects both you and your services and products. 

SHIP Global IP offers a full range of professional IP solutions both in the corporate and the legal environment, as well as specific services for industry professionals and industrial and intellectual property agents.


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