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World IP Day 2021: bringing ideas to the market
On the occasion of World Intellectual Property (IP) Day, 26 April 2021, AmCham EU teamed up with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to host an event which explored the topic of what SMEs need to succeed.
The event kicked off with opening remarks from Benjamin Neyt (LVMH), Chair, Intellectual Property Committee, AmCham EU, who underlined the importance of intellectual property rights (IPR) for the EU’s economy. He pointed to the contributions of IPR-intensive industries to the total economic activity, which weighs in at 45%. He also reinforced the importance of intellectual property for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who are ever-more susceptible to IP theft. Mr Nyet also shared his perspectives on the importance of IP in a blog post for AmCham EU.
The floor then passed to the day’s keynote speaker, Claudia Martinez Felix, Deputy Head of Unit, Intangible Economy, DG GROW, European Commission. She spoke to the European Commission’s legislative agenda which aims to support SMEs through the IP Action Plan and the Next Generation EU recovery package. She emphasised the European Commission’s ongoing work with the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) to find avenues to build intellectual property protections, in particular for SMEs.
The floor then passed to two small business owners and champions, Rachel Jones, Founder and Chief Executive, SnapDragon, and Ruben Bonet, Co-Founder, President and CEO, Fractus. Ms Jones shared her first experience of IP infringement, when her Totseat product was illegally copied and sold on Chinese e-commerce platforms. Mr Bonet, for his part, insisted on the importance for small businesses in investing in intellectual property protections.
The two guest speakers agreed that financing for SMEs deriving from their ownership of intellectual property is critical to further incentivise SME owners to invest in protections – intellectual property is an intangible asset and should be more readily seen that way by financial institutions.