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IP Helpdesk
News blog9 December 20213 min read

The Latin America IP SME Helpdesk experience inside the world cup of tech (Lisbon Web Summit 2021)

Robert Pocklington

IP Expert – Latin America IP SME Helpdesk


After nearly 2 years of virtual events, we are now beginning to see the light in 2021. The Latin America IP SME Helpdesk is back again meeting face to face with EU SMEs, and we couldn’t have found a better way of doing so than participating in the Lisbon Web Summit this year.

With more than 42,00 people attending the event, this year’s event counted with the presence of leading speakers such as Amy Poehler, Brad Smith, António Costa, Nick Clegg, Samuel Eto’o, Thierry Henry, Daniel Melchior, Tinie Tempah or Ellen Weintraub, among others.

Due to the pandemic, in 2020 this event could not take place presently, and all participants had to meet virtually. But this year was different, and we could enjoy again this event helping companies with the protection of their Intellectual Property.


Why does the Latin America Helpdesk participate at this event?


While some Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have some knowledge of patents, trade marks, copyright protection, or they have already assigned an IP expert to help them with their IP protection, many people come to us at these events we participate in with several questions.

New start-ups are struggling after the pandemic to stay in the business, and some of them had to stop their business in Latin America until they knew it was safe. All these companies have one or several business ideas, and they want to make them come true and succeed. The aim of companies at this event is to find future partnerships with other participants, show their business ideas at their own stand to get some attention and financing, or maybe have a look at the trends in their own field of technology (what are my competitors developing?). At this point, some of them ask themselves: “what would happen if a partner steals my ideas?” Or “what would happen if my cool name and logo are copied?” This is when the IP Latin America Helpdesk comes to the rescue.


Which were the most common questions received from EU SMEs this year?

Considering the nature of this event, questions from participants mainly focused on fintech, deep technologies, digitalisation, e-health, industry, cyber security or climate change. To them, IP protection is a must, but they sometimes have no idea of which IP rights are better for them to take into account. Copyright, patents, trade secrets, trade marks? Each case may vary a lot depending on the type of service or product, the technology sector, or the company’s different targets.  

We tend to stress the differences between Europe and Latin America for European SMEs. The territorial barriers, the cultural differences, the lack of harmonisation, and the importance of having your IP protected before entering the market are key when establishing a new business in Latin America.

This year we have realized that several companies were really interested in technical measures to protect their software as trade secrets? Trade secrets are relevant confidential information held by a company, providing it with a competitive advantage.

What do we recommend? Sign NDAs with their parties with whom you share some information, and with employees too. Make use of technical measures, such as password protection, procedures for tracking relevant documents, and network security measures. Moreover, restrict access to documents containing trade secret information, for instance, storing them in an isolated area.


How can we be of help to you? Our IP experts will provide you with first-line support on all issues related to intellectual property protection and IP rights enforcement in Latin America.

– We are an EU initiative, so everything we offer is for free.

– You can contact us in any of the five languages we work with: English, French, Spanish, German or Portuguese (upon experts’ availability).

– All the information you provide to us will be treated as confidential.

– Moreover, we are fast. We answer in less than 3 working days.

So why not Contact us! We will answer all the questions you may have.


Meet us face to face at future events!

Don’t forget that the Latin America IP SME Helpdesk attends several events throughout the year. Check our future trainings if you are interested in webinars and on-site trainings. You can also meet us soon face to face in the following future events for 2022:

19-23 January at Fitur (Madrid, Spain)

27-28 January at HTH Styria (Graz, Austria)

30Jan - 1 Febr at EU Fashion Match (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

17-20 February at BIOFACH/VIVANESS 2022 (Nuremberg, Germany)

We are there to help you with all your IP-related questions. And do not forget to protect before you go!


Publication date
9 December 2021