Today is World Intellectual Property Day; the theme for the 21st annual celebration raising awareness for the role of various forms of IP in supporting strong economies is “IP & SMEs: Taking Your Ideas to Market.” Events all over the world are planned for this week to highlight the crucial role that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play in commercializing intellectual properties, using the protections afforded by IP to translate engineered improvements and creative expression from the minds of inventors into marketable products that are commercialized so the whole world can benefit and enjoy.
According to statistics provided by The World Bank, about 90% of all businesses worldwide are SMEs and these companies represent about 50% of global employment. In addition to throwing a brighter spotlight onto the importance of SME commercialization efforts, many organizations are also publicizing resources that are available to help sustain SMEs and enable them to scale up and bring innovative new products, popular brands and new creative works to consumers across the globe through supply chains that support many jobs worldwide. (Note: All event times are given in U.S. Eastern Time Zone)
WIPO Map of SME Support Institutions
One of the virtual resources to link SMEs with firms providing useful services within the IP sector is the map of SME support institutions made available online by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the main institution supporting global programming around World IP Day. This link brings browsers to a web page displaying an interactive Google map identifying several firms around the world providing patentability and freedom to operate searches, IP portfolio management, technology transfer and licensing services, as well as prototype development services.
Monday, April 26
Business & IP Centre Leeds
At 6:00 AM on Monday, online video webinar.
This event hosted by Business & IP Centre Leeds will provide an overview of recent trademark disputes involving companies from the United Kingdom, registered design protections for aesthetic creations and patents for technical innovations. Speakers at this event will include Sharon Kirby, Senior Trademark Attorney, UDL Intellectual Property; and Philip Groves, Patent Assistant (Chemicals), UDL Intellectual Property.
Chemnitz University of Technology
At 7:00 AM on Monday, online video webinar.
This event features a series of presentations on IP protections with a focus on how SMEs can benefit from IP rights. The first presentation on enforcing patent rights and the importance of priority, territory and internationalization will be given by lawyers from the Munich firm Meissner Bolte. The second presentation, which focuses on building revenues through licensing and resources for financing the obtaining of IP rights, will be given by Frederic M. Casañs, ATHENA Technologie Beratung GmbH. A third presentation on IP strategies for startup founders will be given by Dr. Marc Banaszak, mecorad GmbH. The final presentation will explore the importance of company brand and design strategies, given by Dr. Daniel Schöneich, Battke Grümberg.
Federal University of Paraná (UFPR)
Ibero American Intellectual Property Network (RIAPI)
At 8:30 AM on Monday, online video webinar.
Brazilian SMEs may benefit from the World IP Day event being hosted by the Federal University of Paraná’s Study Group on Copyright and Industrial Law in partnership with the Ibero American Intellectual Property Network, which looks at SME commercialization of IP coming from university networks and other basic research institutes. The first panel, exploring IP and technological innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic, will include Dr. Ângela Kretschmann, PUCRS, GEDAI, UFPR; Dr. Vinicius Farias Campos, UFPel; Dr. Francisco Viegas Neves da Silva, Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative; and moderated by Dr. Marcos Wachowicz, GEDAI, UFPR, RIAPI. The second panel, which discusses how SMEs support innovations coming from local tech incubators, will include Dr. Victor Pelaez, PROFNIT, UFPR; Marlon Cardoso, Agency Curitiba Innovation; Marcelo Birali Braga, Maringá Innovation Center; and moderated by Dr. Guillermo Palao Moreno, University of Valencia, GI + dPI, RIAPI.
International Trademark Association
At 10:00 AM on Monday, online video webinar.
Trademarks help SMEs build out their brands on a global scale and also afford important rights which give trademark owners the ability to enforce against copyrights and piracy, ensuring legitimate supply channels for branded goods. Topics addressed at this event include what is a trademark, when registering for a trademark is necessary for small businesses and ways trademarks can be used to protect against competitors and counterfeiters. Speakers at this event will include Kate O’Rourke, Partner and Head of Trademarks, Mewburn Ellis LLP (UK); Sandra Sophia Redeker, Partner (Intellectual Property Group) and Co-Managing Partner, SKW Schwarz; and Mascha Heilderberg, Junior Partner and Certified IP Lawyer, Müller Schupfner & Partner (Germany).
Life Science Washington Institute
At 10:45 AM on Monday, online video webinar.
This event begins with a presentation titled “IP Strategy IS a Business Strategy!” given by Stephen Koziol, Managing Assistant Regional Director, Western Regional U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Following that is a presentation titled “Taking Your Ideas to Market: Creating an Effective IP Strategy” given by Brett Nelson, Lee & Hayes. After a short break, a discussion on building effective IP strategies will take place with a panel including Jennifer McCullar, Senior Innovation Manager, UW CoManager; Wayne Stacy, Director, Silicon Valley Regional USPTO; Loretta Little, Managing Director, WRF Capital; Roslyn (Roz) Hendricks, Ph.D., CEO, MicrobiomX, Inc.; and moderated by Scott Maloney, Director of Innovation, WSU.
U.S. Copyright Office
At 12 PM on Monday, online video webinar.
SMEs play pivotal roles in creative industries where copyright often intersects not only with the economic interests in attracting investments to commercialize new artistic expression in media like music or film, but also with the cultural impacts of providing strong, legitimate licensing chains to support industries in which creative professionals thrive, a major positive impact of copyright protections on modern society. This event will look at many of those intersections and will also provide insights on navigating copyright issues that are unique to small- and medium-sized businesses. Panelists at this event will include Hakim Draper, Founder and President, The Boogie Shack; Sunil Iyengar, Research & Analysis Director, National Endowment for the Arts; and Laura Zabel, Executive Director, Springboard for the Arts.
At 11:00 AM on Monday, online video webinar.
Businesses in India that qualify as micro, small or medium enterprises (MSMEs) may benefit from the free webinar being offered by Intellect Goodwill, a patent law firm with offices across India. This event will focus on the benefits of patents, trademarks and copyrights to MSMEs with a special focus on how to address market disruptions as an Indian MSME trying to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The speaker for this event will be Rakesh Soni, M.Sc., LL.B. (Hons.), MPA, PGDHRM, Registered Patent and Trademark Attorney, Facilitator for Startup, IPR and Patents.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
At 3:00 PM on Monday, online video webinar.
This event features a trio of panels sharing stories about IP in small business settings and resources that are available for small businesses to address their IP needs. The first panel, which is focused on small- and medium-sized business success stories, will include Dr. Frank Gupton, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Phlow, and CEO, Medicines for All; Joel Meyer, Executive Vice President, Innovation, Specifications and Standards, Digimarc Corporation; Patricia A. Conner, Legal Manager, Stüssy; and John R. Sommer, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, Stüssy. The second panel, which focuses on the role that IP plays in supporting SMEs, will include June Besek, Chair, American Bar Association—Intellectual Property Law Section; and Dana Robert Colarulli, Executive Director, Licensing Executives Society International. The final panel of the day, which will focus on U.S. IP offices and resources available for small businesses, will include Catherine Zaller Rowland, Associate Register of Copyrights and Director of Public Information and Education, U.S. Copyright Office; and Mary Critharis, Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs, USPTO.