The Costs of Using Formal Intellectual Property Rights: A Survey on Small Innovative Enterprises in Latin America

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Sep 2016
This document analyzes the perceptions of small innovative enterprises (SIE) in Latin America of the effectiveness of the legal protection afforded by intellectual property rights (IPR). To analyze the costs of using IPR, the study surveyed 352 SIEs from Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru. It found evidence that SIEs do not know how the IP system works, and that most SIEs consider that knowing how it works is not important for business performance. The study finds large differences among countries with respect to the need to hire legal services to apply for IPR. There are also differences in perceptions of the efficiency of the IP system, unrelated to the countries' IPR enforcement (Park, 2008). The study also finds differences in the perception of the disadvantage in protect their IPR when innovations are imitated by a large firm. This difference is related to the countries' IPR enforcement.