Today, 26 April 2022 is the World Intellectual Property Day, dedicated to youth and innovation for a better future. Our youth is our future and we are committed to engage, connect and empower our young creators and entrepreneurs as announced in our Youth Strategy. Today, we look at how IP could empower our youth, share video testimonials by young entrepreneurs, and explain some of the support available to young creators and entrepreneurs, especially as regards intellectual property matters.
What has youth to do with intellectual property?
The EU is the home of many young innovators who invent new technical solutions to important problems, including new medications, green and digital technologies. Whether with the help of your university or on your own, you can seek to protect those inventions with patents and trade secrets, that will provide you with a competitive advantage when creating a new business.
Many young EU creators publish text, music and films, develop computer programmes and databases, and author paintings and sculptures. You can use those copyrights to pursue a career in all those cultural and creative fields.
As a young EU entrepreneur, you may wish to develop your own trademark or create industrial designs, such as for environmental friendly packaging, electronic devices or textiles. You may also find your passion in traditional local industries, which may enjoy protection by geographical indications, such as some wines, champagne, and crafts as Bohemian crystal. The possibilities are limitless!
Intellectual property (IP) will empower you to stand out from the crowd! It allows you to protect innovation, creativity and investment in know-how and quality, so as to support your profession or business. IP rights provide you with exclusive rights allowing you to fight copying by competitors. For example, SMEs for whom IP is an integral part of their business and who own a bundle of several registered rights (e.g. patents, trademarks and designs) are 33% more likely to become high growth firms.
The mere existence of IP rights does not guarantee success. You need to develop an IP strategy intimately linked with your business strategy.
IP seems complicated. How do I get started?
The key challenges are: lack of knowledge of IP (38%), wish to make innovation accessible to everyone (21%), believing that the new technical solution is not innovative enough (20%), and a lack of knowledge of the benefits of IP protection (15%).
Are you aware of the value of your creation or innovation? Are you aware of the crucial components or aspects of your creation or innovation that you need to protect? You can find a lot of IP support information on our website and you can apply for some of our support programmes to help you make more informed decisions about which intangible assets to protect and how to best protect them. A decision to protect an intangible asset should not be based on beliefs but on a sound economic and legal assessment of needs and strategy.
See how some young entrepreneurs have used IP
Several young entrepreneurs have shared their experiences of using intellectual property. Their businesses are as varied as... Listen to their views. You could also be one of them!
- Ayxon-Dynamics GmbH (DE), water tests - Interview with Grit Landsberg
- Cardinal Bites Ltd. (BG), protein bites - Interview with Jasmina Gevezieva-Berova
- NablaWave S.r.l. (IT), advanced engineering - Interview with Gianluigi A. Misté
- Anteral (SP), Innovative antennas, passives & radar technologies - Interview with Dr Itziar Maestrojuán Biurrun
- Byowave Ltd. (IE), Proteus Controller Kit for disabled persons - Interview with Brandon Blacoe
- Pitseal Ltd. (IE), Eco-friendly solution for silage covering - Interview with Marion Cantillon
See some of the IP support available for you
If you are a young creator or entrepreneur and you wish to
- get IP training, guides or initial advice in relation to cross-border research and innovation or a business project supported by the Enterprise Europe Network - EU IP Helpdesk
- get IP training, guides or initial advice in relation to operations in China, South-East Asia, Latin America or India - International IP SME Helpdesks
- get co-funding for trade mark or design applications or personalised assistance - IP Voucher by the SME Fund
- get private IP advice on a pro-bono basis or get help to solve a trade mark related dispute - Free advice or effective dispute resolution
- get personalised assistance or patent co-funding if you are a ‘Seal of Excellence’ SME - IPA4SME
- get personalised assistance in a collaborative project funded by the Horizon programme or initiated by the Enterprise Europe Network - Horizon IP Scan
- in the future check an updated offer at the EU IP information Centre at the EUIPO
- find funding for your creative activities at CulturEU Funding Guide | Culture and Creativity (europa.eu)
- find funding for your business project at Access to finance - Your Europe (europa.eu)
- seek the support of other female entrepreneurs at Who we are | WEgate - European gateway for women's entrepreneurship
- seek an exchange programme with experiences entrepreneurs in another country at European business exchange programme - Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (erasmus-entrepreneurs.eu)
- Publication date
- 26 April 2022
- Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs