The ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk supports European Union (EU) small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to both protect and enforce their Intellectual Property (IP) rights in or relating to ASEAN, through the provision of free information and services. These take the form of jargon-free, first-line, confidential advice on intellectual property and related issues, plus training, materials and online resources.
The ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk project is co-funded by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP). The current project will run from January 2013 – December 2014, and comprises a total budget of EUR 1.2 million over the two year period.
How do I know my company is an 'SME'?
The main factors determining whether a company is classed as a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) are:
- The number of employees is less than 250
- Either the turnover is less than EUR 50 million, OR the balance sheet total is less than EUR 43 million
For a comprehensive definition and further reading, please see the European Commission website here.
The Helpdesk's free services for European SMEs include:
Helpdesk Enquiry Service – Confidential Advice
Individual SMEs and SME intermediaries can submit IP enquiries directly to the Helpdesk via phone, email or in person, getting access to a panel of experts to receive free and confidential first-line advice.
The Helpdesk arranges training on ASEAN IP protection and enforcement in Europe and ASEAN, tailored to the needs of SMEs, including:
- General IP issues, including IP registration and establishing an IP protection strategy.
- Practical business challenges such as choosing an ASEAN business partner, attending a trade fair, licensing.
- Helpdesk IP Clinics offering SMEs free 20 minute one-on-one consultations with an IP expert are available at most training events.
- Train-the-trainer resources for SME service providers and intermediary bodies (Trade Associations, SME Networks etc.) to improve the awareness of intermediary representatives about the scope and tools offered by the Helpdesk for the benefit of intermediary members.
Industry and business-focused guides and training materials address ASEAN IP issues by:
- IP topic, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, licensing, dealing with counterfeiting.
- Business focus, including IP as a business asset, technology transfer, finding the right lawyer.
- Nation and Industry, including textiles, medical devices, ceramics.
The multi-lingual online portal provides easy access for all EU SMEs to Helpdesk information and services, including Helpdesk guides, E-learning modules, videos, podcasts, event information, and live webinars.