Intellectual Property Rights management in small and medium size social enterprise in Australia

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Conference Paper

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Cantatore, F., & Crawford-Spencer, E. (2015). Intellectual Property Rights in small and medium size social enterprise in Australia. Paper presented at the Sydney International Business Research Conference. 17-19 April, 2015. Sydney, Australia.

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This paper identifies the role and significance of Intellectual Property (IP) management in small and medium-sized social enterprises (SMSEs) and aims to address a gap in the available literature dealing with IP use and management in social enterprise. The findings are based on the results of a qualitative study undertaken with Australian SMSEs, in the form of in-depth semi-structured interviews. The research identifies how SMSEs view and manage their IP rights, and the significance of these rights in the organisation.

The findings suggest that there is a significant lack of IP rights management strategies for protection of IP assets such as trademarks, copyright and patents on the part of SMSEs. This is largely due to a lack of resources and knowledge – SMSEs are typically cash poor and often lack sophisticated management skills and legal assistance.

The paper considers the findings of the study and advocates, in conclusion, a more proactive IP management approach by SMSEs. It further offers a suggested model for SMSEs to incorporate an IP management strategy into their existing structures.

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This document has been peer reviewed.