I am, as one might imagine given my profession, a passionate advocate for businesses protecting their Intellectual Property to secure an advantage over their competitors. I was therefore heartened to see the recent study published by the European Patent Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office indicating that companies that own at least one Patent, Registered Design or Trade Mark generated on average 20% higher revenues per employee and were found to pay 19% higher wages on average.

This effect was even more pronounced for SMEs who showed a higher revenue of 68% per employee compared to those without Intellectual Property rights. A large amount of my work is spent helping SMEs begin or develop their intellectual property portfolio and I am glad to see that there are tangible benefits for such businesses.

However, only a small number of SMEs (9%) currently own any registered intellectual property. I hope that studies like this show the importance of putting effort into identifying and protecting the intellectual property at the heart of a business.

In the current difficult climate this is a positive indicator of the need for companies to continue innovating. Companies with an edge over their competitors are always putting themselves in a strong position.