SIGNO – Protection of Ideas for Commercial Use

a programme for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

In a globalized economy, companies’ market success also depends on how quickly innovations are commercially exploited. Here, the results of research and development are the foundation for new products, processes, and services. However, new technological know-how is of economic interest only if its underlying ideas are legally protected.  For this reason, such protective rights play a key role in the innovation process.

In order to further exploit the innovative potential of SMEs and universities for economic value chains, in spring 2008 BMWi combined its former promotion programmes "Commercialization campaign" and "INSTI" under the new umbrella brand "SIGNO – Protection of Ideas for Commercial Use", dividing it into three pillars: SIGNO universities, SIGNO companies and SIGNO inventors.

BMWi supports universities, companies, and independent inventors with legal protection and commercial exploitation of their innovative ideas. In the context of SIGNO universities, universities can commission specialized patent agencies or other organizations to identify professionally marketable know-how and register it as patents. With SIGNO companies, BMWI intends to address SMEs in particular and in so doing, specifically integrate them into the innovation processes.


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