23 Wake Forest J. Bus. & Intell. Prop. L. 54.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) typically consider their intellectual property (“IP”) to be some of their most critical assets. This article is targeted toward SME owners and startups and provides an overview of how IP protection can help an SME. The issues pertaining to IP typically associated with SMEs will be explored from a practical and pragmatic point of view. This approach builds upon the panel discussion about the Role of Intellectual Property in Sustainable SME Innovation at the Wake Forest University School of Law Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law Symposium on February 25, 2022.
Trademarks, patents, trade secrets, and copyright are well known to owners of SMEs, whether the SMEs know the precise nomenclature or scope of protection that each afford. This article first discusses these usual types of IP and the associated costs of such protection. Secondly, this article will address three major challenges SMEs face: (1) IP development and protection; (2) the cost of IP protection; and (3) determining the scope of IP protection. Ultimately, the protection of IP should be a foremost consideration for any SME, and such enterprises need to carefully consider which IP protections are best suited for their business.