Small and medium-sized enterprises

Rik Breur, winner of the European Inventor Award 2019 in the SME category

European patents are not just for big industry applicants. Around 18% of patent applications filed at the EPO by European applicants come from small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individual inventors, with a further 10% from universities and public research organisations from which SMEs are often spun off to commercialise new technologies. Therefore, SMEs that use European patents are typically driven by innovation and focused on scaling up their activities.

This section looks at how new and established SMEs use IP to protect and market their inventions as well as leverage them to secure higher margins, license technology, establish collaboration agreements with partners and attract investors.

SME case studies

The EPO has produced a series of case studies on European SMEs which are leveraging the power of patents and other IP rights to achieve business success. These case studies show how SMEs use IP to their advantage.

Support for high-growth technology businesses

A major driver of Europe's economic growth, high-growth technology businesses are typically SMEs or start-ups that succeed in bringing innovation to established and new industry sectors.

This section provides information for businesses looking to successfully commercialise their technologies.

Quick Navigation