World Intellectual Property Day - April 26, 2021

IP & SMEs: Taking your ideas to market

Every April 26, we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to raise awareness of the important role that intellectual property (IP) rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity. 

The theme for World IP Day 2021 is “IP & SMEs: Taking your ideas to market” and highlights how Intellectual property (IP) can improve the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and provide a potential source of revenue.  SMEs are the backbone of the global economy and are essential contributors to job creation and economic development.  IP is a powerful tool for SMEs that can create economic value and advance their business goals.

With economic recovery a priority from the fallout of COVID-19 , World IP Day 2021 shines a light on how SMEs can use their IP assets to build stronger, more competitive, and resilient businesses and create jobs.

World Intellectual Property Day 2021 highlights the vital role of SMEs in economies and how they can use IP rights to build robust, competitive and secure businesses.  Previous studies showed that SMEs made up around 90 percent of the world’s businesses, employed almost 50 percent of the global workforce and generated up to 40 percent of national income in many emerging economies. Each of these businesses identified an opening in the market for a product or service and, with some creativity, designed a product or a service that consumers want.  Each of these businesses are able to utilise the various forms of Intellectual Property rights to not only help protect the income generated by these products and services but they can also be considered to be assets of the business.  Yet many are unaware that they hold IP or that it has value.  This means, many are missing out on opportunities to improve their bottom line and grow.  Studies show that when businesses are IP savvy, and when they acquire and manage IP rights, they do better.

If you are new to the world of IP, World Intellectual Property Day 2021 is an opportunity to find out how the tools of the IP system – trade marks, design rights, copyright, patents, trade secrets, geographical indications, and more – can support you when taking your ideas to market.

With IP rights you can turn an idea into a business opportunity, generate value, create employment and enrich the choice of products available to consumers.  With IP your business can flourish and your community can thrive.  World IP Day 2021 also highlights the central role that WIPO and national and regional IP offices around the world play in creating favourable conditions for SMEs to drive innovation and creativity, power economic recovery and create employment.

Further information on Intellectual Property rights can be found on the IPOI website at Types of IP - IPOI

Further information on World IP Day 2021 can be found on the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) website World Intellectual Property Day – April 26, 2021 (

The Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund. 

In conjunction with the “Taking Ideas to Market” theme of World Intellectual Property (IP) Day 2021,  the Intellectual Property Office of Ireland, in co-operation with the EUIPO’s Ideas Powered for Business SME Fund, will offer Irish SMEs and micro enterprises the possibility of obtaining 75% off the cost of an IP pre-diagnostic service (IP scan) from the 1st of May. The pre-diagnostic service or IP scan is aimed at providing a practical, objective and factual analysis of an SMEs business model, products and/or services and growth plans to help achieve a better understanding of the value of intellectual property for a business and, in particular, to identify the intellectual assets held and the possible IP protection options for those assets. It should also assist in shaping and planning an enterprises IP business strategy now - and in the future.

In addition to the IP pre-diagnostic service or IP scan, from the 1 May 2021 Irish SME’s can receive 50% off the basic application fees of national, regional and EU trade marks and designs.  Each SME can be reimbursed up to a maximum of EUR 1,500.