If you are a small business dealing with the issues of Intellectual Property (IP), you are definitely not alone. Research estimates placethe value of the IP market at between $5 trillion to $5.5 trillion. Small businesses place a significant role in this market.
According to the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, the technological influence of small firms is growing dramatically. Believe it or not, small firms are producing more technically important patents than larger firms. A 2003 report found that “small patenting firms produce 13-14 times more patents per employee as large patenting firms.”The Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) reports that one-third of the top 1,000 most patenting firms in the U.S. are small businesses. In the biotech industry, one-quarter of patents are produced by small firms.
Unfortunately, there are numerous headaches that come along with IP. If you are lucky enough to make it through the complicated patent and copyright process, you still have to worry about copyright infringment and piracy from abroad. While many larger corporations have the resources to address these issues, its not always easy for smaller businesses to do so.
A great starting point that can assist small businesses with understanding the patent process and IP issues in general is the website, www.stopfakes.gov/smallbusiness. The site provides a wealth of information on copyright, patents and trademarks as they related to small businesses. A great resource worth checking out.