Posted on Monday 6 November 2017 by Cruickshank Intellectual Property

The European Patent Offices (EPO) published Annual Report reveals that in 2016, 96,000 patents were granted, this was a 40% increase from 2015 and a record year for applications. Of this amount 28% of applications came from smaller entities comprising SMEs and individual inventors.


Following from this, the EPO recently conducted several case studies on various SMEs from around the member states. The study focused on various sectors including energy, biotechnology and communication technology and listed 11 different countries, Ireland included.


The aim of the study, entitled ‘Unlocking Untapped Value’ is to further encourage better understanding of the power of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and when managed and maintained correctly can be integral to business success.


Some key findings of the study included:


-          Leveraging of patents delivered a variety of benefits other than that of patent protection.


-          By aligning their IP strategy with their business goals, the selected companies continued to drive their productivity and innovation thus increasing their revenue and marketplace positions.  



While figures for patent filings for SMEs with the Irish Patent Office are not as easily available, the Irish Patents Office are committed to driving IP awareness and continue to assist in various programmes towards small and micro-enterprises. However, don’t be afraid to consult with a patent attorney, as often initial meetings are held without charge.