How the market need is bringing up solutions without legalese to enable SMEs to create their IP Strategy
In today’s business world, IP is everything! We now know that intellectual property represents 80% of the value of any company. There is much to win with IP, as companies with any kind of IP are five times more likely to do an initial public offering (IPO) and three times less likely to file for bankruptcy. Still, many companies struggle in securing their intellectual assets and are way behind in internationalization and market share.
SMEs are the ones that struggle the most. Data shows that 75% more earnings are made by small businesses with patents and trademarks, but even though SMEs can generate five times more value with IP, they only file around 21% of the patents every year.
Why do SMEs not simply go to a lawyer and avoid so much hassle?
Patent attorneys’ fees are expensive, in some countries even two or three times more than the IP registration office’s fee. In addition, you still must invest time to explain everything to get good advice. In the end, the problem starts exactly here, many SMEs lose interest in intellectual property because the barriers to entry are too high.
For example, the registration of a normal patent requires not only expert resources, but also time that many SMEs do not have. In most cases, SMEs do not even know who to contact to develop their IP strategy. Almost no SMEs today know, they can just make it by themselves with the use of many now openly available platforms!
Available free digital platforms that SMEs can use right now to build their IP strategy
Why should SMEs at least start their IP strategy journey by themselves?
As an entrepreneur, you most likely have a basic understanding of management and corporate strategy mechanisms such as accounting, legal certification, and finance. The truth is these skills are the base for developing your IP strategy and can give founders the base of how their own IP strategy should develop over time.
That is why the use of free platforms can change the way you and your company see IP, thereby giving you direction even before talking to an IP attorney. There are two types of free platforms that allow SMEs to research other companies IP by their own:
1. Research patent tools
Well known in the IP community, these tools are the base of patent research. Used not only for intrepid founders but also for attorneys as part of a typical patent registration process, they give users thorough details of innovation similarities in local or international markets.
The top platforms we can find in this category are:
- Google Patents
- Espacenet patent search from EPO
- European Patent Register Viewer from EPO
- USPTO Patent search
- Patenscope from WIPO
- Global Brand Database from WIPO
- & The EUIPO’s database access
Experts recommend these tools to start the process of understanding patents from competitors. But to be honest, to create a seamless IP strategy that is simple and understandable, these platforms are not there yet. They offer detailed information, but this information is not easy to handle, as they are not designed for the use of everybody. The data is mostly for discovering similar innovations to yours but presents a lot of legal jargon, that most people do not understand.
These platforms are made from and for experts, which is understandable, as they are made to avoid unintentional copycats and help in the process of patenting. Nevertheless, SMEs are not interested in individual patent information! Entrepreneurs want to see market trends, competitors IP management and insights into what may be coming up next for them and how it might affect their own business. That is why BI tools can be closer to what SMEs really need.
2. Business intelligence tools with IP information
The second category refers to platforms that provide general company information, mostly targeted to investors, loan providers and direct customers. The top players we can find in this category are:
BI platforms can provide quick information about the number of patents and general information about IP value. But still they come short in the quality of the information. For example, Crunchbase only presents the approximate number of patents and no further information. This data can give you first insights or direction about similarities of your innovations with your competitors, or any other information that can put you ahead of them in the market.
The transformation of IP information into an understandable and accessible way for anyone led to GoodIP, a Munich based startup, developing a technology that reveals patent information to help SMEs stay ahead of their competitors. This is achieved by keeping on top of shifting innovations, unrevealing technology secrets and hidden champions and opening up the data for everyone via their platform GoodIP IQ!
Legal Tech platforms without legalese?
IP is a shark tank that especially SMEs can find difficult to maneuver. Traditionally cost- and time-intensive creation of IP strategies are further complicated by the complex landscape of players involved and jargon-heavy language.
How can you make this crucial topic for driving and securing innovations more accessible to those who matter most, the entrepreneurs? The answer is to create solutions that are not about patents but about companies. This is exactly where GoodIP IQ comes into place by focusing on the important elements.
- The tool helps you to easily identify patents and the underlying strategies of existing and future competitors.
- By highlighting in which technology areas and countries intellectual property is protected by a company, GoodIP IQ offers you a comprehensive view of their overall IP approach.
- Receive easily understandable data about the purpose of individual patents, saving you time for research and overly complicated terms.
- GoodIP IQ was created especially with the needs of SMEs in mind by a SME experienced in the field of IP strategy creation.
- The platform is browser-based and therefore at your disposal whenever you need it.
Can Legal Tech help SEMs to solve SMEs IP problems?
Yes, Legal Tech can change how entrepreneurs understand and perceive IP and IP strategy by turning information into feasible recommendations and real actions. The digital transformation era is motivating companies to create these platforms with the idea of giving independence to SMEs to create and shape their own IP journey.
The insights generated from free platforms is a win in both sides: allowing SMEs to better understand their market and the competition they might face IP-wise, reducing the risk of infringement and improve their decision-making – in important topics as internationalization or market opportunities – while helping Legal Tech companies to develop solutions that go beyond understanding the market to create solutions that enable SMEs to create an IP strategy by their own.
Freely available IP platforms enable entrepreneurs to keep an eye for potentially market-changing actions from existing and future competitors, they are the first step to start and understand your own company’s IP journey. Keep in mind:
- IP and IP strategy is an absolutely must for SMEs
- There are two types of platforms that can give you information about IP – Patent platforms and BI information platforms
- Legal Tech platforms without legalese can better fulfill SME’s needs
- Legal Tech companies will keep on pursuing solutions that makes IP easier and actionable for SEMs so expect better solutions in the future
- And finally, for developing IP you will need in one way or another an IP attorney, but IP strategy is something that you as an entrepreneur can make on your own!
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About the blogpost author:
Lina Carvajal is an experienced marketing specialist and consumer researcher, who believes in the power of data. She is focused on tech-driven solutions and loves to use her skills to find out about new ways to communicate trends in the area of intellectual property.
About GoodIP – a company that helps entrepreneurs win the intellectual property game by using AI technology. For more information about how GoodIP can help you to achieve your intellectual property goals, visit goodip.io. In case you want to check the patents of your competitors with a single click of your mouse, you can check out GoodIP IQ now. If you have any suggestions, questions or just want to say hello, feel free to connect with GoodIP via social media: LinkedIn Twitter
 Source EPO: data for Germany only