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Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) and variations of these terms are companies whose personnel numbers fall below certain limits. The abbreviation "SME" is used in the European Union and by international organizations such as the OECD, World Bank, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Small enterprises outnumber large companies by a wide margin and also employ many more people. SMEs are also said to be responsible for driving innovation and competition in many economic sectors.

European Union member states and USA have their individual definitions of what constitutes an SME. For example, the definition in Germany had a limit of 255 employees, while in Belgium it could have been 100.

In India: A Micro-Enterprise is one where the investment in plant and machinery (their original cost excluding land, building and items specified by the Ministry of Small Scale Industries in its notification No. S.O. 1722(E) dated October 5, 2006) does not

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exceed Rs. 25 lakh.

A Small Enterprise is one where the investment in plant and machinery (see above) is more than Rs. 25 lakh but does not exceed Rs.5 crore.

A Medium Enterprise is one where the investment in plant and machinery (see above) is more than Rs. 5 crore but does not exceed Rs. 10 crore.

The definition of MSMEs in the service sector is:

  Micro-Enterprise: Investment in equipment does not exceed Rs. 10 lakh
  Small Enterprise: Investment in equipment is more than Rs. 10 lakh but does not exceed Rs. 2 crore
  Medium Enterprise: Investment in equipment is more than Rs. 2 crore but does not exceed Rs. 5 crore

The Indian Micro- and Small-Enterprises (MSEs) sector plays a pivotal role in the country's industrial economy. It is estimated that in value, the sector accounts for about 45 percent of manufacturing output and about 40 percent of total exports. In recent years, the MSE sector has consistently registered a higher growth rate than the overall industrial sector. The major advantage of the MSE sector is its employment potential at a low capital cost. According to available statistics (4th Census of MSME Sector 2006 - 2007), the sector employs an estimated 59.7 million people in 26.1 million enterprises; labor intensity in the MSE sector is estimated to be nearly four times that of large enterprises.


Innovation is the application of new solutions that meet new requirements, inarticulate needs, or existing market needs. This is accomplished through more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments and society. The term innovation can be defined as something original and new that "breaks in to" the market or into society.

While something novel is often described as an innovation, in economics, management science and other fields of practice and analysis it is generally considered a process that brings together various novel ideas in a way that they have an impact on society. Innovation differs from invention -- innovation refers to the use of a better and novel idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself.

Innovation differs from improvement in that innovation refers to the notion of doing something different rather than doing the same thing better.


What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce and industry.
IP is divided into two categories: Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; and Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs.

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. A patent provides protection for the invention to the owner of the patent. The protection is granted for a limited period, generally 20 years. http://www.wipo.int/patentscope/en/patents_faq.html#patent

A trademark is a distinctive sign which identifies certain goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Its origin dates back to ancient times, when craftsmen reproduced their signatures, or "marks" on their artistic or utilitarian products. Over the years these marks evolved into today's system of trademark registration and protection. The system helps consumers identify and purchase a product or service because its nature and quality, indicated by its unique trademark, meets their needs. http://www.wipo.int/trademarks/en/trademarks.html

Copyright is a legal term describing rights given to creators for their literary and artistic works. The kinds of works covered by copyright include: literary works such as novels, poems, plays, reference works, newspapers and computer programs; databases; films, musical compositions, and choreography; artistic works such as paintings, drawings, photographs and sculpture; architecture; and advertisements, maps and technical drawings. http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/copyright.html

Industrial Design
An industrial design is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. The design may consist of three-dimensional features, such as the shape or surface of an article, or of two-dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color. Industrial designs are applied to a wide variety of products of industry and handicraft: from technical and medical instruments to watches, jewelry, and other luxury items; from housewares and electrical appliances to vehicles and architectural structures; from textile designs to leisure goods. To be protected under most national laws, an industrial design must be new and/or original. Novelty or originality is determined with respect to the existing design corpus. http://www.wipo.int/designs/en/

Geographical Indication
A geographical indication is a sign used on goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, reputation or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that place of origin. Most commonly, a geographical indication includes the name of the place of origin of the goods. Agricultural products typically have qualities that derive from their place of production and are influenced by specific local factors, such as climate and soil. Whether a sign is recognized as a geographical indication is a matter of national law. Geographical indications may be used for a wide variety of products, whether natural, agricultural or manufactured. An appellation of origin is a special kind of geographical indication. It generally consists of a geographical name or a traditional designation used on products which have a specific quality or characteristics that are essentially due to the geographical environment in which they are produced. The concept of a geographical indication encompasses appellations of origin. http://www.wipo.int/geo_indications/en/about.html

Traditional Knowledge
Traditional knowledge (TK) is knowledge, know-how, skills and practices that are developed, sustained and passed on from generation to generation within a community, often forming part of its cultural or spiritual identity. http://www.wipo.int/tk/en/tk/

There are several compelling reasons. First, the progress and well-being of humanity rest on its capacity to create and invent new works in the areas of technology and culture. Second, the legal protection of these new creations encourages the expenditure of additional resources, leading to further innovation. Third, the promotion and protection of intellectual property spurs economic growth, creates new jobs and industries, and enhances the quality and enjoyment of life. Intellectual property rights reward creativity and human endeavor, which fuel the progress of humankind. Some examples: the multibillion dollar film, recording, publishing and software industries – which bring pleasure to millions of people worldwide – would not exist without copyright protection; without the rewards provided by the patent system, researchers and inventors would have little incentive to continue producing better and more efficient products for consumers (for example, the development of vital new pharmaceutical products); and consumers would have no means to confidently buy products or services without reliable, international trademark protection and enforcement mechanisms to discourage counterfeiting and piracy.

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