June 27 was Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day. The United Nations (UN) started MSME Day in 2017 in recognition of the importance of small businesses to local and global economies. The UN also recognizes that MSMEs are crucial to achieving their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As a small business ourselves, Clancy PC recognizes the importance of supporting other MSME to allow them to grow. In honour of this, we have put together a guide on how IP rights can build value and protect small businesses.
“SMEs that apply for patents, trademarks or designs are more likely to grow quickly and succeed than those that do not.” – World Intellectual Property Office Magazine
Quick Facts about small businesses from the Government of Canada Key Small Business Statistics 2020
Protecting intellectual property rights (IPRs) can be essential to ensure the growth and success of small businesses. IPRs are very valuable assets that can be used and leveraged to create added value. The five most common forms of intellectual property are:
Trademarks: Trademarks can consist of virtually any sign that allows one company to distinguish itself from its competitors.
They can include words, designs, tag lines, scents, textures, sounds, tastes, motion marks, etc. Protecting your company’s trademarks is essential as it allows you to take swift action in cases where you spot unauthorized use that can lead to confusion in the marketplace. Moreover, by registering your trademarks, you ensure that the accrued goodwill in your brand inures to your benefit.
Industrial Designs: Industrial designs protect the aesthetic features of a product, such as the shape, ornamentation, patterns applied to the product.
Patents: Patents protect innovation and provide a monopoly period within which a business can monetize the invention.
Copyrights: Copyright protects original literary, artistic, dramatic, or musical works and gives you the sole right to reproduce, publish or perform the works.
Trade Secrets: Trade secrets can be any exclusive information that gives your company a competitive edge in the industrial, manufacturing or commercial sector. A very famous trade secret is the Coca-Cola recipe.
For more information about the various forms of IP protection available in Canada, visit CIPO
Why IP matters for your business