Secrets of Intellectual Property

A Guide for Small and Medium-Sized Exporters

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Guide in form of questions and answers dealing with intellectual property (IP) issues, aimed at small and medium-sized exporters and trade support institutions – explains basic concepts and principles regarding patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright, confidential business information, and geographical indications; covers questions relevant to ownership of rights by employees, contracting, licensing and technology transfer; highlights importance of IP issues when drawing business, marketing and export plans and strategies, and deals with IP rights protection abroad; looks at link between IP and quality regulations and standards, packaging and labelling, electronic commerce and use of information technology; considers valuation and financial aspects of IP rights; focuses on the application of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).

English Spanish, French


What is intellectual property? Why should I protect it?

Whenever a new product enters the market and is successful in attracting customers, it is very likely that competitors will sooner or later attempt to make similar or identical products. In some cases, competitors will benefit from economies of scale, greater market access, better connections with the main distributors or access to cheaper primary resources, and therefore be able to make a similar or identical product at a cheaper price, putting heavy pressure on the innovator of the original product or service. On occasion, this will drive the original innovator out of business, especially as it is likely to have invested significantly in developing the new product, while its competitors benefit from the result and get a free ride on the creativity and inventiveness of the innovator.

English French, Spanish

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