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KEY ASPECTS ON IMPROVING IP AWARENESS BY BRAZILIAN MSMEs: THE ROLE OF IP OFFICE Differentiation Strategies: Role of IP in Building Trust and Branding by.

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Presentation on theme: "KEY ASPECTS ON IMPROVING IP AWARENESS BY BRAZILIAN MSMEs: THE ROLE OF IP OFFICE Differentiation Strategies: Role of IP in Building Trust and Branding by."— Presentation transcript:

1 KEY ASPECTS ON IMPROVING IP AWARENESS BY BRAZILIAN MSMEs: THE ROLE OF IP OFFICE Differentiation Strategies: Role of IP in Building Trust and Branding by MSMEs Rome, Dec 2009

2 Objectives To present the Brazilian IP Office point of view regarding MSMEs issues; To discuss some aspects of the relationship between TM system and MSMEs; To present some measures taken to enhance IP access by MSMEs

3 Role of IP in Branding by MSMEs: the importance of IP offices In the knowledge society, intangible assets give MSMEs the opportunity of being more competitive and innovative; Intellectual property rights, like trademarks and patents, configure crucial strategies for economic growth, mainly in the peripherical countries; Trademarks, given the fact that they can be renewed indefinitely, are a very attractive mode of boosting profits and the reputation of companies; So, the reflection about a system that enables MSMEs to participate on this scenario, in fair conditions, must be part of the IP offices agenda.

4 Role of IP in Branding by MSMEs: the importance of IP offices Any branding strategy taken by a small company is not complete if legal aspects are not observed; Since trust and reputation come together with a name, branding strategies must be concerned with the appropriability of a name, which is capital for creating value from the feelings, ideas and images born from a sign; So, the role of IP offices,as a key part of IP policy- making, is crucial for garantee equal access to TM system and the awareness of the importance of registering trademarks.

5 Brazilian MSMEs: some data and features 98% of Brazilian enterprises are MSMEs; The mortality of MSMEs is around 22%, in average; Low capital intensity; High birth and mortality rates; Low investment on innovation;

6 Brazilian TM system in a glance Its a first-to-file system; applications last year in a single class system; Opposition period comes after initial TM publication and before examination; Registered TM to be renewed every 10 years; Still some backlog, but totally managed

7 Brazilian TM system in a glance

8 MSMEs and the TM system: a short diagnosis In Brazil, 87% of TM applicants are small enterprises; In general, they have lack of IPRs expertise; High quantity of rejected Trademarks; When approved, their trademarks are considered to be weakones; Very often, they simply lose their trademarks by not observing legal deadlines Increasingly number of legal disputes on IP subject; Sometimes, the registration of a commercial name is seen as much more important than a registered trademark;

9 MSMEs and the TM system

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11 What do the MSMEs want from IP offices? Simple and user-friendly systems Predictable and uniform results Responsiveness Legal certainty

12 Focus on the small: tensions to be solved by IP offices To organize competition x To let the market regulate itself; Public interest x Market interest Staying reactive x going proactive

13 Risky scenario for MSMEs: poor expertise + Superpopulation of trademarks We receive a huge number of TM applications every year – So, nowadays, we have a very populated database, organized in 45 Nice Classes, some of them extremely populated – e.g. class 35 (business management)

14 Risky scenario for MSMEs: poor expertise + Superpopulation of trademarks Since our examiners do ex-officio searches, more than 1 million of trademarks can be considered impeditive for a new application; Considering that MSMEs have a slightly poor knowledge of the system, the likelihood of getting a TM denied is very high; It means less profits and probable damage for previous investments on product development.

15 Risky scenario for MSMEs: poor expertise + Superpopulation of trademarks Given this scenario, its important to think about a new pattern for the services offered to the MSMEs by IP offices

16 Emerging Trends on TM Management by IP office: disseminating IP culture Since 2004, Brazilian IP office provides training on IP themes for academics, lawyers and entrepreneurs; Topics like trademarks, patents, designs and geographical indications are discussed, always aiming at regional reality and local needs; 6,000 people have been trained, in basic, intermediary and advanced modules; In this sense, believing on the multiplication power of such training sessions, the dissemination of IP culture can be considered as a first action towards a closer relationship between IP office and the small companies.

17 Emerging Trends on TM Management by IP office: less oppositions Oppositions triplicate the waiting time for the examination; Today, 20% of the applications are opposed by thrid parties; Oppositions make the whole process more costly: its tough for the opponent, the applicant and the office; When a SME is suffering an opposition, they barely can response adequately. Its hard for big companies, and its even hard for the small ones; So, why cant we ask both parts to give up, in order to cancel the opposition procedure?

18 Emerging Trends on TM Management by IP office: clustering examination Our work procedures have led us to take a linear examination, making us dependent on bad routines, often useless and irrational We have already realized that by clustering the demand flux, dividing it into specific categories of requests, we could increase efficiency and the consistency of examination results ; Making teams to deal with specific demands: in general, small companies need permanent care, especially in the initial steps of dealing with the system; So, with a non-linear work strategy, it will be possible to group the requests of various small companies in order to allow the examiner a better knowledge of their reality; Clustering examination process will reduce random results and, somehow, make examiners acquainted to the companies behind the brands.

19 Emerging Trends on TM Management by IP office: previous TM assesment for MSMEs It is really necessary a better frame for processing MSMEs demands, since they represent almost 90% of our users; Many IP offices have already realized that a previous assesment program, demand driven, is the best way of avoiding bad applications; So, if we could offer them more than previous search records, it would be a powerful tool for branding process as a whole; Results: less TM applications denied, less needless conflicts and more legal certainty.

20 Emerging Trends on TM Management by IP office: making simple systems A simple system is an appealing step to narrow distances between the companies and the office; Since 2006, we have offered a total paperless system which provides electronic forms for any kind of service at TM office; It became succesful because it was a system planned for small companies: in 10 minutes, a non- experienced user can file an on-line TM application; Nowadays, 70% of applications are done ellectronically; and the number of applications done without a legal agent increased 15% since then.

21 Thanks! Vinicius Bogéa Câmara Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property Advisor, Trademark Office


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