Portal Finanse Firma Klastry Instytucje Promocja Polityka
Newsy
2011/06/14 08:50:24
Problems with Patents

The 2011 International Rights Index, published by Rights Alliance, ranked Poland  53rd in the rights protection ranking, featuring a total of 125 countries. This appears to be not a bad position — using the bike racing terms, we are in the peloton. It is worth noting, though, that our neighbours — the Czech Republic and Lithuania — are ahead of us. 

Poland also lags behind countries like Botswana, Uruguay and Costa Rica. The situation looks even worse when it comes to the protection of physical rights — in this category Poland ranked 98, reaching the same level as Ukraine, Ethiopia and Madagascar. We appear to be better at the protection of rights — here we were ranked 34th. This proves that Poland is gradually becoming a desert, if it hasn’t become one yet. In 2009, only 3.5 thousand inventions and utility models were submitted to the of the Republic of Poland (of which app. 2000 have been patented). A similar number of applications were submitted last year. This shows that, even though Poland has a relatively big innovation potential, it doesn’t make the most of it, in contrast with the developed western economies, where the number of new technical solutions submitted for protection is much higher. 

Large part of the for the situation falls on entrepreneurs, who consciously don’t take measures to protect their (inventions and technologies). According to numerous researches (for example A Review of Research on Enterprise Innovation, published by the Institute for Market Economics), the main reasons behind the lack of entrepreneurs’ in patents and other forms of protection are quick changes in the modern technology (products and technologies become outdated within just a few years), the time-consuming patenting process, complicated procedures, and the lack of possibility to their rights, particularly in the IT sector (only 4% of researched ICT companies point to the existence of effective protection mechanisms). In short, many entrepreneurs believe that obtaining a isn’t worth the candle. The authors of the researches also stress that the Polish business, particularly the SME sector, shows little awareness of the protection issues. This means that some of the barriers pointed out by entrepreneurs exist only in their imagination and/or mentality. 

According to dr. Alicja Adamczak, President of the of the Republic of Poland, the main obstacle in using the intellectual and protection potential is, unfortunately, the lack of sound and awareness of the problem among entrepreneurs and managerial staff. “In many cases, the issues related to management may be critical for the success of an entire business venture and must be taken into account already at the preliminary stage of planning business activities. These may include issues related to determining the directions of a ’s development, purchasing licenses, obtaining exclusive rights to a mark, evaluating the likelihood of infringing upon somebody’s rights or analyzing the of business partners with regard to proper protection of and their valuation. An should make an in-depth analysis of the issues already at the stage of drawing a business plan” – says Alicja Adamczak. However, before entrepreneurs move to the “in-depth analysis” stage, they should first gain the basic related to the protection. 

Why Bother About a ?

The issues of intellectual and , and protection are of key importance in today’s economy. Patents, licenses and copyrights facilitate and accelerate a ’s development, allowing it to enter a higher, global level of operation. They can also account for an important part of its income. The issue of increasing a ’s income through a profitable use of protected — for example by means of a good licensing policy — is very important, but often neglected by entrepreneurs, who are discouraged by the protection and fail to notice the potential profits resulting therefrom. Alicja Adamczak says that “Obtaining exclusive rights, their maintenance and enforcement, is connected with certain . On the other hand, it creates benefits and constitutes an important asset.” A holder enjoys the to use a for making profits and for using it for professional purposes, in other words, he enjoys a — limited in time, but still a — to use a given solution, profits from granting licenses, and gives a a competitive advantage. However, in to use this potential, one needs to define a strategy, which is as important as financial, management, marketing or development strategies. “Conscious investment in the protection of allows to eliminate randomness in making decisions regarding the key assets” – says dr. Alicja Adamczak. 

Autor:Waldemar Wierżyński 


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