Intellectual Property for Business

An understanding of intellectual property (IP) can help your business become more competitive and manage IP related risks.

The IP system has an important role to play in helping you:

  • protect innovative products and services;
  • increase the visibility, attractiveness and value of your products on the market;
  • distinguish your business and its products from the competition;
  • access technical and business information and knowledge;
  • avoid the risk of unknowingly using third party proprietary content or inadvertently losing your own valuable information, innovations or creative output.
IP diagnostics

WIPO IP Diagnostics

The IP Diagnostics Tool helps you identify your business' IP assets and provides you with an automated report with basic information on how to manage these assets.

WIPO Global Awards 2022 Murano glass trophies

WIPO Global Awards 2022

WIPO's Global Awards program recognizes exceptional enterprises and individuals using IP to make a positive impact - both at home and beyond their own borders.


IP diagnostics

Intellectual Property Finance

To enhance access to finance on the strength of IP, governments and commercial concerns are experimenting with a range of initiatives and offerings.

Understanding the benefits of IP

Defending your competitive space

Your innovative product/process or improved product/process can be protected by a patent right that can give your business a competitive advantage. The right to exclude others provided through patent protection allows you to fend off competition, assume a lead and secure market position.

Understanding how to protect trade secrets is also key to defending your competitive space. Specific product details, technological know-how and strategic business information are often key to the success of a business, allowing it to maintain its edge over the competition. Theft or accidental disclosure of trade secrets can deprive a business of these important advantages.

Visibility in crowded markets

Trademarks allow customers to distinguish your products/services from those of your competitors and serve as a guarantee of consistent quality. Great care should be taken in choosing and designing your trademark, protecting it, using it in advertising and policing its misleading/improper use by others.

The aesthetic aspect of your product, protected by an industrial design right, is another means by which you can distinguish yourself from the competition and gain market share. A visually attractive design alone can attract a demanding and diversified clientele and could constitute your product’s single most important distinguishing factor.

(Photo: WIPO)

Enterprising Ideas

This infographic will take you through the important IP issues which should be considered at different phases of a startup’s journey.

IP and tourism

Do you own a hotel or restaurant, run a rental car business, manage a travel agency or any other business that provides services to tourists? Find out how the IP system may be able to help you.

Identifying, protecting and managing your IP

Keep in mind that a single product can be protected by various forms of IP rights. Together, these IP rights protect your innovation and nurture your brand. They are an important tool for maintaining and strengthening your competitive edge and expanding your market share.

(Image: Getty Images/vladwel)

Auditing your IP assets

An important first step in managing IP assets is to conduct an IP audit to understand what potential IP exists in the company.

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Protecting and managing your IP assets

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Patent Drafting Training Program

The Patent Drafting Training Program assists users of the patent system to develop practical skills in drafting and filing patent applications.

(Photo: Getty Images)

A step-by-step IP Strategy Checklist for SMEs

Along with having a business plan, every innovative company should have an intellectual property (IP) strategy. Developing an IP strategy is not a one-time event. An IP strategy will evolve with a company’s business goals and should be reviewed regularly.

(Photo: tempura / E+ / Getty Images)

Top 10 Intellectual Property mistakes made by SMEs and entrepreneurs

When defining an IP strategy, there is no room for error, yet the same mistakes are often made by business owners; putting their intellectual property on the line. Here are the top 10 IP mistakes made by entrepreneurs and SMEs.

Interactive Digital Stories for the Innovator and Creator!

Read and interact with these IP for Business stories and learn how entrepreneurs and businesses use intellectual property to enrich their innovations and creativity.

Expanding your business with IP rights

It is important to understand the economic value of your IP assets by carrying out an IP valuation. Having an idea of how much your assets may be worth will be helpful for various transactions including licensing, sale, donation of IP rights or entering into joint ventures and other collaborative arrangements.

(Image: Getty Images/Bhavesh1988)

Securing financing

There are various ways to monetize and leverage IP assets to obtain financing. Including information about IP rights in a business plan can help you obtain the funds needed to launch or expand.

(Image: Getty Images/Filo)

Entering foreign markets

IP rights are only available in the country/region in which they are granted. Before expanding your business abroad, obtain the necessary rights  to ensure that you maintain your competitive advantage in foreign markets.

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Settling disputes

Despite the best of efforts, IP disputes unfortunately can arise and may result in legal proceedings, demands to cease using an IP asset, and/or compensation payments.