Intellectual property (IP) management is a key element in improving the competitiveness of any company. Unfortunately, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often lack the time, resources, or knowledge to address IP matters. This guide aims at providing answers to some of the main IP issues often faced by SMEs. It has been developed on the basis of the answers provided by the European IPR Helpdesk to some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) submitted by users through the European IPR Helpdesk website and Helpline. Moreover, it refers to several reference documents, which are listed at the end of each section for further information. This guide is making no claim to be exhaustive and is not an official document of the European Commission. It is provided as a service of the European IPR Helpdesk.
Nowadays, the value of a business is increasingly linked to its intellectual property (IP) assets, which are becoming more important in many sectors. This guide is divided into two main sections: the first provides an overview on general contract clauses, and the second focuses on IP contracts including some of the most common IP contracts and IP clauses. Both parts contain practical examples to illustrate how contracts can be drafted. The guide is developed and published by the European IPR Helpdesk.
It is certainly not an easy task to manage IP commercialization as the success of this process depends on several internal and external factors such as business objectives, type of IP as well as economic and intellectual resources. In addition, since IP can be commercialized either directly by its owner, through an assignment or by building up business partnerships, the selection of the most appropriate tool is often challenging, especially for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). This guide has been prepared with the objective to clarify these issues on the basis of the European IPR Helpdesk’s fact sheet series “Commercialising Intellectual Property”. You may consult these fact sheets together with other reference documents listed at the end of each section for further information.