For those of you who follow our LATAM Flagship Blog for some time, you heard about the IP diagnostic tool since our publication ‘2019, another IP year with you!’. Since then, we have already published an article on the new IP cost tool, and it was about time we provided you with a proper introduction to the newest one.
This tool enables EU SMEs to self-evaluate and measure their status in terms of IP management and IP knowledge. But, first of all, let’s explain why this can be relevant to your business.
Why do I need to assess my IP management and IP knowledge?
According to reports and statistics from WIPO, EPO and EUIPO, global and European filing activity for patents, utility models, trade marks and industrial designs has increased over the past few years. A priori, this could be due to the enhanced awareness and knowledge of companies on intellectual property rights (IPRs). However, studies show that only a small number of EU SMEs actually use IP.
Another report by the EUIPO states that most SMEs do not own patents, registered trade marks or industrial designs (9 out of 10 SMEs do not own any of the mentioned IPRs). Moreover, as reported by the European Commission, the majority of EU SMEs do not make enough use of the IP scheme and, therefore, they are missing substantial growth and development opportunities.
Thus, some conclusionscan be drawn from all the information mentioned above:
- There is a general lack of awareness and inability to use IP rights amongst EU SMEs.
- It is not enough for EU SMEs to know that they have to protect their IPRs or for IP offices to identify the tools. Companies also need to understand why and when to use each IP resource. Hence, there is a need for diagnosis reports to explain in detail when to use one right instead of another.
- A considerable attention is being paid to the usual IPRs (trade marks and patents). Still, there is a need to reinforce awareness regarding copyright, designs and geographical indications, as well as the knowledge on domain names and trade secrets, since these alternative measures seemed to be highly used by SMEs.
The Latin America IP diagnostic tool
In light of the above, the Latin America IP SME Helpdesk, an initiative of the European Commission, has developed an innovative online tool that supports EU SMEs to use their IP assets more effectively in target markets.
The IP diagnostic tool is a practical mechanism for EU SMEs because it helps them gain better insights about their intellectual property status and it provides them with tailored information regarding intellectual property assets, management and exploitation when internationalising to Latin American countries.
This interactive and user-friendly tool allows users to identify their level of knowledge and management of IP by answering a series of multiple-choice questions. Thanks to the answers provided, the user will instantly obtain a downloadable report with the following information:
- Diagnosis of the level of IP knowledge and management of the user.
- Best practices, such as warnings and tips for improvement.
- Recommended IP materials, training and events, provided for free by the Latin America IP SME Helpdesk.
The innovative aspect of the IP diagnostic tool lies in the integrated internationalisation approach. While most of the available IP pre-diagnostic tools only evaluate the IP and business aspects of the company, the IP diagnostic tool designed by the Latin America IP SME Helpdesk not only covers those, but also the ones related with the internationalisation process.
Furthermore, this new tool entails a significant upgrade in this first-line intellectual property service for EU SMEs interested in doing business in any of the Latin American countries. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, are all included in this tool.