Intellectual Property refers to the exclusive rights granted over creations of human mind used in commerce in particular inventions, trademarks, copyrights. Intellectual Property (IP) is one key element towards the creation and growth of businesses. IP is considered one of the most valuable assets which if strategically managed gives the business a competitiveness advantage in this knowledge based era. In order to unleash the country’s business potential a pro IP culture is therefore crucial. SMEs worldwide contribute significantly to the economy.
The country’s economy is sustained by SMEs as more than 90% of businesses in Zimbabwe are SMEs. However despite this they fall short of necessary strategies such as IP rights protection to fully engage in meaningful business ventures. Often SMEs are not aware what value their businesses have in the form of IP, whilst some do not respect IP owned by others.
IP rights exists on paper which the paper in itself does not have a monetary value. However, strategically managed and utilized this paper unleashes unending value of IP. Value of IP resides in the owners’ rights to exclude others from commercially exploiting their IP. SMEs can bring a monetary value of their IP rights through productivity, selling their IP, getting royalties through licensing their IP rights. IP rights also help SMEs to build brand visibility and ensure business growth.