Small and Medium Enterprises can use their IP assets to build stronger, more competitive, and resilient businesses and create jobs.

This is according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation WIPO Director General Daren Tang as he joined in the World Intellectual Property Day celebrations.

Tang also described SMEs as ‘unsung heroes of the global economy especially in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic that has hit businesses hard and actually caused many to close shop.

The DG also recognized the fact that SMEs account for 90% of all companies worldwide and 70% of global employment. In this regard, the world IP body was going to offer tailor-made solutions according to the various problems facing businesses in different parts of the world.

“Whatever help we can render to our SMEs, will be help that we render to the bedrock of your economy, and the backbone of the global economy. Ultimately, it will help our world to build back better,” after the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

WIPO is coordinating a global campaign to highlight the importance of intangible assets to SMEs and the value of IP in supporting SMEs to grow. The Organization has also published a series of case studies  from around the world telling stories of SMEs that are using IP rights to turn ideas into business opportunities and generate value.

Additionally, the global body has also provided a wealth of practical information on the best ways for SMEs to protect their intangible assets.

The international IP community is joining celebrations to mark World IP Day through a series of virtual activities and an active social media campaign. Be sure to follow them to secure your idea and eventually scale it to market.

Back at home, several bodies will be in talks to review the country’s legal and policy environment to clear the system of the bottlenecks that are preventing ideas from scaling to commercialization.

In his remarks during a World IP Day hosted by the Lawyer’s Hub Dr. Tony Omwansa of the Kenya National Innovation Agency said that the body has so far picked high-priority focus areas namely; commercialization and support of the startup movement.

“In this regard, the body will be looking at the regulatory framework; legal and policy issues around it, we are also looking at enabling the environment in terms of the structural support and the issue of putting up funding, the mentorship, coaching, and growth of the incubation framework in the country. We are also looking to increase the visibility of the startups and the programs,” he said

Omwansa also revealed that they have made a case to parliament around the launch of an innovation fund. The latter is expected to support institutions in establishing technology transfer and incubation programs, scouting promising innovation that could be scaled, and facilitating the scaling of those innovations.

The agency that took office 6 months ago is also looking to launch the Kenya Innovation Week that will run between 6th and 10th December and will become a flagship program for celebrating innovations in the country. With its theme as ‘The innovator in you’ It will focus on commercialization, skills for innovation, the fourth industrial revolution, and the technological issues that go with it as well as the startup movement, skills.

As we wait for all that in the pipeline get acquainted with IP or hire a well-versed lawyer to help you scale your idea

Happy World Intellectual Property Day