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Roving Seminar on the Importance of Intellectual Property Rights for SMEs: European and Latin American perspectives

Before starting the first session of the Roving Seminar on Intellectual Property for SMEs, in Mexico City, on March 22, 2019, Pedro Duarte, project leader of IP Key Latin America said that "both in the European Union and in Latin America , one of the reasons why SMEs do not protect their innovation is the lack of knowledge or information." But taking into account that companies that make intensive use of IP in Europe create 38.1% of direct and indirect jobs, generate 42% of GDP in the EU (about 5,700 million euros) and the IP-intensive industries are those that generate 93% of exports, "bringing IP to SMEs becomes a fundamental factor and the focus of a substantial part of the cooperation activities that IP Key develops" concludes Duarte.

According to EUIPO, SMEs represent 99% of all EU companies. As a key element of the European economy, in the last 8 years they have created almost 85% of the new jobs and, in total, two thirds of the total employment of the private sector in the EU. In Latin America, the work developed by SMEs in the region has grown to represent 99% of all companies and an employment rate that reaches almost 67% of all workers (OECD and CEPAL, 2013). This shows that SMEs in Latin America have a great potential for growth and expansion and that protecting their IP rights can help them in this process.

This seminar will visit Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica next week, to disseminate the best practices in the use of Intellectual Property assets for the development of their business and promote the sustained growth of European and Latin American SMEs attending the event.

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