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The contribution of intellectual property rights obtained by small and medium-sized enterprises to economic and technological development : policies to be implemented

Sözer, F. Şebnem
This thesis analyses the utilization of intellectual property rights (IPRs) by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), their contribution to economic and technological development and policies to be implemented for the SMEs to make more use of the system in order to reach a desired level of growth. Small and medium-scaled enterprises constitute more than 90 % of all firms almost all over the world and a substantial proportion of employment and turnover. This fact bares the necessity for the SMEs to make more use of the intellectual property rights system which is one of the components of innovation and technological growth, in order to achieve the desired level of economic and technological development. This paper discusses the existing and possible contribution of the IPRs obtained by SMEs to economic and technological development and the policies to be implemented in order to encourage intensive utilization of the system by the SMEs. The results of surveys previously carried out both in Turkey and abroad are incorporated within the results of a survey which was organized in the context of this thesis among 86 enterprises in 12 organized industrial zones all over Turkey. The latter survey measures the IPR utilization of the SMEs and the reasons behind under-utilization. Among the firms studied, 60 % of them are R&D performers, 34 % have a distinct R&D department while 56 % of them reported to have developed a new product, process or design. However only one third of these innovative firms have had an IP application and the percentage was even lower with IPR supports; only 2.3 % of the firms applied for IPR supports. The main reason for this underutilization of both IPRs and IPR supports was found as lack of awareness. Policy proposals were tried to be put forward depending on the findings of the survey and raising awareness was defined as the most important