Event Report: World IP Day- Taking your Ideas to Market by IP & SMEs OWITL Round Table Discussion: Taking Your Ideas to Market by IP & SMEs

07 May 2021
07 May 2021

By Ghati Nyehita

This year’s theme of world IP day is SMEs and taking ideas to market.

To mark the world IP day, the Chapter of Organisation of Women in International Trade in Switzerland (OWITL) hosted a round table discussion on the role that IP can play in SMEs for involvement of women in the Intellectual Property system (see conference note and program).

Prof. Caroline Ncube was one of the key note speakers. She discussed the challenges and solutions for women owned SMEs in cross border trade. She noted that the challenges women face when they trade cross borders stem from structural inequalities and the IP gender gap. They then replicate in the national context as lack of awareness in obtaining IP rights and enforcement, and in the cross border context as a multiplication of the national hurdles. She made three main recommendations: raising awareness about strategic opportunities offered by IP rights within national and cross border trade contexts and making the IP system more accessible and less costly to navigate; addressing equality issues (law/structural) that make it difficult for women to acquire IP rights and financial constraints in their access to IP rights and improving cross border IP information, coordination and enforcement for enterprises operating internationally. Watch the discussion on YouTube.