630. Norway would like to thank the Members that co-sponsored the document for this agenda item, document IP/C/W/675, and for introducing it. We agree that Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) can play a strong role in the green transformation the world needs towards Sustainable Development.
631. We have a few comments in response to some of the questions that were posed at the end of the submission:
a. The Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) provides measures that support MSMEs in their financing and commercialisation strategies – for example a free search service, and reduced application fees for companies of less than 20 employees. Although these are general measures for all MSMEs, they have proven to be useful also in the Green Tech sector.
b. To raise the awareness of green tech MSMEs regarding the benefits of IP for their business activities, NIPO also provides patent landscaping services, thematic online webinars that are offered for free, their individual frontline information service, as well as lectures and stands at trade fairs in cooperation with Innovation Norway, which is the business promotion agency of the Norwegian Government.
c. A main challenge for green tech MSMEs when they share their new technologies with larger enterprises, is to keep the control of their own IPRs and intellectual assets. This underscores the need for more awareness and legal competence.
d. MSMEs have expressed needs for more support in some of the sectors and subsectors of green tech, than in others. A Nordic survey of patent applications from recent years showed the highest interest among Norwegian companies for Renewable Energy, other low-carbon energy supply, and Greenhouse gas and climate change mitigation technology.
e. Other ways for IP offices to enhance the attractiveness of the use of IPRs in the green tech sectors could be to make visible the contribution that IPR protection makes to the value creation and profitability of MSMEs. This has been demonstrated most recently in a new report by the EU Intellectual Property Office: "Intellectual Property Rights and Firm Performance", which was released in February 2021.