SMEs and their use of intellectual property rights in Australia

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 17/04

Date: August 2004


Paul H. Jensen
Elizabeth Webster


There is a common, largely anecdotally based belief that registered intellectual property is a less efficient form of protection for SME inventors compared with inventors from large firms. This paper discusses the reasons why SMEs may be disadvantaged in their use of intellectual property as opposed to more general disadvantages they may incur over the whole course of innovation. It estimates patent and trade mark rates per employee in Australia but does not find a significant difference between the large firm and SME sectors once industry effects are taken into account.

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