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SMEs - Information pages for small and medium-sized enterprises

Think - protect - benefit

Greeting from the President

On these pages, the DPMA provides a special information service for SMEs which sheds light on the various aspects of protection and which is intended to encourage people to handle their own intellectual property more consciously. We would like to draw your attention to the numerous information and funding opportunities and support you in your (corporate) decision on how to deal with your intellectual property. Especially today in times of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) and in view of international economic interrelations, this is more important than ever. Protecting IP is easier, cheaper and more important than you might think!

Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer, President of the DPMA

Over 95 percent of all companies in Europe are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In Germany, even 99.6 percent of all companies subject to value added tax are SMEs. Nearly 60 percent of all employees work at these companies. SMEs and their innovative strength are the economic engine of this country.

About 71 percent of the German companies in the mechanical engineering and plant engineering sector are affected by product and trade mark piracy. According to the 2018 Product Piracy Study conducted by the VDMA working group for product and know-how protection (Frankfurt/Main, 2018), these companies record an estimated loss of over seven billion euros per year.

Adequate protection of intellectual property can be a key factor for the success of small and medium-sized enterprises. IP rights are strategic assets that increase the value of a company and promote its innovative capacity and profitability – regardless of the company size. However, many SMEs do not make effective use of their intellectual property to gain a competitive advantage. Often there is no strategy for dealing with IP rights – but something can be done about that.

About the content of the SME pages

The following web pages provide information on these topics:


On occasion of the MSME Day of the United Nations on 27 June 2020: Sustainable corporate growth through IP rights

On 27 June we are celebrating the Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day: SMEs are the backbone of most economies worldwide and play a key role in developing countries. By marking this day, the United Nations recognises the importance of these companies and furthermore intends to raise public awareness of the contribution of MSMEs to sustainable development.

Integrated IP management as success factor

Integrated IP management as success factor

This has prompted us to investigate the role that, in particular, IP rights can play in sustainable corporate growth. They offer for example:

  • achievement of a competitive advantage to create the basis for sustainable economic activities
  • increase in innovation, also in the area of sustainability
  • enduring protection and increase of innovativeness, sustainability and competitiveness
  • sustained successful growth through constant innovation
  • stronger and lasting effect of economic development programmes

Dr Hanns Kache, patent engineer at the EZN (Erfinderzentrum Norddeutschland), explains in his guest article (in German) pdf-Datei "Nachhaltiges Unternehmenswachstum durch Schutzrechte" (Sustainable corporate growth through IP rights) what makes IP rights valuable in the megatrend of sustainability, what potential lies dormant in them and how it can be released.

Picture: iStock.com/kritchanut, Picture 2: Dr. Kache

Last updated: 20 October 2020 

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