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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
News article26 April 2022Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs4 min read

Intellectual Property and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future

World IP day 2022

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!

Take our quiz to see that you actually know a lot about IP

See some of the IP support available for you

If you are a young creator or entrepreneur and you wish to