World Intellectual Property (IP) day, launched by the World Intellectual Property Organization, is celebrated every year on 26th April and serves as a reminder of how to use Intellectual Property (IP) to build stronger, more competitive, and resilient businesses. This year, the celebration focused on supporting economic recovery for SMEs, a priority from the fallout of COVID-19. IP refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce, and typically, SMEs that use IP rights perform better than those that do not.

There are various kinds of IP, and it is important to understand a bit about them – they include trademarks, industrial designs, copyright, patents, trade secrets, and geographical indications. These IP tools are critical business assets and can be used for marketing and protecting the income generated from new ideas. However, many SMEs are unaware that they hold IP or the value, thus missing out on the benefits of improving their bottom line and growing their businesses.

An understanding of IP can help your business become more competitive and manage IP related risks. The IP benefits for SMEs include:

  • Protecting innovativeproducts and services;
  • Increasing the visibility, attractiveness and value of your products on the market;
  • Distinguishing your businessand its products from the competition;
  • Avoiding the riskof unknowingly using third party proprietary content or inadvertently losing your own valuable information, innovations or creative output;
  • Enhancing the value of the company through compelling IP asset valuation and management;
  • Facilitating of access to venture capital and other sources of finance

Without IP protection, there is a substantial risk that SMEs’ investments in Research and Development (R&D), product differentiation and marketing will be wasteful.

It is never late to protect and manage your IP rights as a business. Start today by engaging with a legal advisor or reaching out Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB). USRB is the Government agency mandated with the registration and protection of Intellectual Property rights across the country.

For more information, visit the nearest URSB office or contact;

Tel: +256 414 233 219