IP: The Key Asset to Support SMEs’ Development

Published: August 3, 2021

Brand & New

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Yann Ménière Chief Economist, European Patent Office Munich, Germany

Considering small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from an intellectual property (IP) perspective, it’s even more critical that SMEs don’t play by the same rules as larger businesses. Indeed, SMEs and larger firms in the European Union perform very differently regarding their ownership and use of IP rights (IPR).

The European Patent Office (EPO), based in Munich, Germany, recently reported that although only a smaller proportion of SMEs (9 percent) own or use patents, trademarks, or designs when compared to larger firms (60 percent), the advantage that these IPRs provide in terms of revenue per employee is far greater for SMEs (+68 percent) than for larger firms (+18 percent).

Understanding the role, impacts, and challenges associated with IP assets in the SME context is therefore necessary to design successful R&D, branding, and financial strategies—whether from a policy perspective or at the company level.

Brand & New’s guest is EPO Chief Economist Yann Ménière, who joined the Office in 2016. Though currently on leave because of his role with the EPO, Mr. Ménière is professor of economics at MINES ParisTech in France, where he led the chair on “IP and Markets for Technology.” His research and expertise relate to the economics of innovation, competition, and IP. In recent years, he has been focusing more specifically on IP and standards, markets for technology, and IP issues in climate negotiations., He has written articles for academic publications as well as several policy studies for the European Commission, the French government, and other public organizations.

Related Resources

About Yann Ménière

Also of interest

European Patent Office

Intellectual property rights and firm performance in the EU

High-Growth Technology Business Forum

European Inventor Award 2021

Forbes: Why Trademarks Are So Valuable for Your Small Business

WIPO: IP as a Financial Tool for SMEs

Brand & New: SMEs—Navigating IP Issues, a Discussion Between an Entrepreneur and His IP Counsel


INTA Pro Bono Clearinghouse

Brand Value Special Task Force Report



About Brand & New

Brand & New podcasts from the International Trademark Association

Our hosts discuss compelling business and legal topics relating to intellectual property, innovation, technology, and change with an international roster of influential experts and industry visionaries.

Brand & New guests contribute to this podcast in their personal capacity, and the opinions expressed (or experiences shared) are their own. They do not purport to reflect the views or opinions of INTA or our members.

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