Monday, April 26th was the World Intellectual Property Day. The 2021 theme was “Intellectual property and small businesses: Taking big ideas to market.” Small and Medium enterprises remain a key driver of sustainable economies hence the more reason for startup owners to take Intellectual Property rights protection seriously. This is especially important as economies across the globe grapple with the economic fall-out of the COVID-19 health crisis.
By definition, Intellectual Property is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. Most people often mistake the term to be limited to arts and the creative industries. On the contrary, it goes beyond that and hence laws were established across the globe to protect and govern all aspects of intellectual property and its rights for small and big companies in various fields. The main types of IP include Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks, and Trade Secrets.
“Each of the millions of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that operate across the globe every day started with an idea that took shape in someone’s mind and made its way to market.”
Small and medium enterprises across the globe play an important role in sourcing employment, particularly for the youth, low skill workers and women. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) explained the importance of securing ideas as they are the roots of businesses, “Each of the millions of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that operate across the globe every day started with an idea that took shape in someone’s mind and made its way to market.” World Intellectual Property Organization.
“IP matters, which is why companies like Google, Apple, and other tech giants spend billions of dollars suing to secure their IP”
However, most startups live by a laissez-faire mindset when it comes to Intellectual Property rights protection. The founder of the Law Tech Info, Mr Adenkumbi once suggested that this mindset is often derived from entrepreneurs’ belief in the notion that “ideas are a dime a dozen; only execution matters.” He also pointed out that this can harm startups from a business and legal standpoint if they delay in securing their IP. “IP matters, which is why companies like Google, Apple, and other tech giants spend billions of dollars suing to secure their IP”, he said.
“shine a light on the economic importance of SMEs and their critical role in driving economic recovery and job creation”
The aim for this year’s theme is to “shine a light on the economic importance of SMEs and their critical role in driving economic recovery and job creation”. For this to be effective, startups and entrepreneurs ought to stay alert and up-to-date with information that affects their businesses nationally and globally. This is why at Eight2five Innovation Hub we build networks that help startups through their IP registration journey, our hub members also have access to our experienced resident IP consultant. You can join other startups in learning more about Intellectual Property through the Eight2Five online platform by following this link: https://training.eight2five.co.zw/courses/intellectual-property/