Today, on World IP Day 2022, we are launching the new digital platform for intellectual property: Create, Protect & Benefit. There are more than three million SMEs in the Netherlands and Belgium, and with this initiative we aim to inform them about the importance and the benefits of intellectual property.
Create, Protect & Benefit is an initiative of a group of five partners from the Low Countries: the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP), the Netherlands Patent Office, the Belgian Federal Economic Service, Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) and Sowalfin.
Only 5% of SMEs hold registered intellectual property rights
SMEs with registered trademarks, designs and patents have on average up to 68% higher turnover. EUIPO arrived at that striking conclusion last year after a study of 127,000 European enterprises. However, only 5% of Dutch SMEs have registered one or more intellectual property rights related to protection with trademark and design registrations and with patents.
Need for awareness
According to the five initiating organisations, there is a need for both small and large enterprises to catch up. Intellectual property rights are not just something for large technology companies. They are of interest to every company. Via the platform, we hope to make every company aware of the benefits, but we also hope to make them aware of the risks if no safeguards are put place.
12 smart guides
On the Create, Protect & Benefit platform entrepreneurs will find 12 so-called smart guides. Each of these guides deals with a different topic in the field of intellectual property rights, covering topics such as trade names, trademarks, patents, copyright and more. Each guide contains the answers to the questions asked most frequently by entrepreneurs in relation to that topic. For example, how do you ensure that no-one can copy your product? Why would you also have to protect the appearance of your product? Or how do you prove that you were the first person to have a particular idea?
With a view to inspiring other entrepreneurs, we gathered some testimonials from the CEOs of a number of Dutch, Flemish and Walloon companies. They tell us about what intellectual property rights they hold and what specific benefits those rights give them. Lastly, entrepreneurs will find a direct link on the platform to experts who can help them further.
A recent Belgian study, which is being announced today, confirms the low number of companies with registered intellectual property rights: only 3% of Belgian companies registered an IP right in the period 2010-2019. Also confirmed in the study is the positive effect intellectual property has on the growth and productivity of an SME.