The Hungarian Patent Office's VIVACE program on the EU top 15 list

The Hungarian Patent Office's VIVACE program on the EU top 15 list

A conference entitled "Public Support for SMEs in the Field of Intellectual Property Rights: Challenges and Good Practices" was held in Vienna on 27th September 2007 where the results of a two-year study were published which was aimed at selecting the best of publicly funded programs promoting SMEs in the EU member states and presenting the examples.

In his speech made on behalf of the Directorate General, Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission, Mr. Reinhard Buescher mentioned among the most successful EU projects the study aimed at exploring intellectual property protections services, which undertook the following tasks:

  • collection and analysis of currently available information of services provided for supporting SMEs in their intellectual property protection activities,
  • detailed examination of selected publicly funded supporting services,
  • identification of the best practices,
  • publication of the findings.

The findings of the study have presented the role SMEs play in the European economy, with special respect to the number of people they employ. A number of surveys have already shown that the innovation activities of SMEs play a fundamental role in economic growth and wealth although the tools of intellectual property protection are not used to the extent it is reasonably expected in a knowledge-based society. This calls for political intervention but it is also doubtful whether politics at the moment appropriately supports SMEs in their intellectual property protection efforts. It is also a question to what extent such support needs to be improved in order to encourage SMEs to use the tools of intellectual property protection as extensively as possible.

In this context, the measures aimed at supporting IP protection tools were compared in order to analyse how support services should be organised so that they work most effectively from the SMEs' point of view.

Policy-makers, parties concerned and representatives of SMEs can use this study to draw information on what can be regarded in Europe as best practice in this field worth following.

It is of great importance that the Hungarian Patent Office's VIVACE program was selected from the 279 projects examined on the basis of the above criteria into the best 15 European IP supporting programs, the only one coming a country that joined the EU in the last two enlargement rounds. Started in 2004, the VIVACE (Vállalkozói Iparjogvédelmi Versenyképességet Alapozó Cselekvési - Action Plan Promoting Industrial Property Competitiveness of Entrepreneurs) program had the main goals of improving intellectual property protection services, including a networked information system, developing education and training activities in the field of industrial property, and improving economic incentives.

Being ranked among these exemplary projects is of great importance to both the Hungarian Patent Office and the IP protection information network of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and hopefully the Ministry of Economy and Transport will also regard the qualification into the best 15 as a European professional success.

The successful projects were briefly presented at the conference including the VIVACE program which was presented by Director of the HPO's Centre for IP Information and Education, Ms. Éva Bakos.

The document containing the detailed results of the EU study can be downloaded from this address:

3 October 2007