Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) can be a vital competitive advantage for European small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).
Their competitiveness, creativity and innovative abilities are threatened by counterfeiting, piracy and uncertainty about enforcing their rights.
SMEs are particularly vulnerable to these risks. They often lack resources and knowledge to act against fake products or are convinced it is impossible to do so.
Support for IPR enforcement is rather patchy and, at present, far less developed than support for general awareness of IPR.