Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) represent 99% of all businesses in the EU and are considered “the backbone of Europe’s economy”.
Being an SME competing against companies with thousands of employees seems to be ‘mission impossible’. However, for technology companies, the patent system allows start-ups to grow into successful SMEs (or even become large companies). Patents fulfil a number of functions, such as access to capital, and the patent system
enables a number of business models. For example, companies may decide to exploit patented inventions themselves by manufacturing and selling their patented product, and exclude others from using the protected technology. They may also allow others the use of patented inventions (through licensing) for compensation (monetary and other types of consideration). In both cases, the patent holder can obtain a “return on investment” within a reasonable timeframe, thus being encouraged to continue to innovate.