New study reveals how IP helps startups raise finance

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Recognising the importance of startups for our economies and their contribution to the future of innovation, the EPO launches today a series of activities focusing on startups and exploring the relations between innovation, IP, funding and growth.

Joint study from EPO and EUIPO 

European startups applying for patents and/or trade marks during their initial seed or early growth stages are up to 10.2 times more likely to secure funding from investors. What's more, the ownership of European patents and EU trade marks is associated with an even higher advantage, with a rate of securing early-stage funding exceeding five times that of those with only national intellectual property rights. These are the key findings of a new study published jointly by the EPO and EUIPO today.

The key findings of the study include:

  • On average, 29% of European startups have filed for patents or registered trade marks, though there are significant differences between industry sectors.
  • Startups increasingly make use of IP rights as they grow, with a strong focus on European IP rights at all growth stages.
  • The filing of patent and trade mark applications in the seed or early growth stage is associated with a higher likelihood of subsequent venture capital (VC) funding.
  • The filing of applications for European patent and EU trade mark is associated with an even higher likelihood of subsequent VC funding for startups (compared to just national IP rights).
  • The filing of patent and/or trade mark applications is associated with a more than twice as high likelihood of successful exit for investors.

New Deep Tech Finder

This new, free tool blends business information with patent data, helping investors detect and assess European startups that are bringing disruptive inventions to market in critical technology areas. The tool currently contains the profiles of over 7 500 European deep tech startups across all industry sectors. It makes it possible to search them according to the technology fields in which they have applied for European patents, including so far almost thirty different technologies in smart industries and clean energy. 

Today’s event: Boosting startups with intellectual property

The inaugural event of the Observatory "Boosting startups with intellectual property" takes place today and explores how startups harness the power of IP rights to drive innovative solutions and attract investment. The joint authors of the study will present their work, the Deep Tech Finder will be demonstrated, and an expert panel including investors and entrepreneurs will debate the challenges they face. “Startups” is one of the ten topics prioritised by the Observatory in their Biennial Work Plan. Join us!