Innovation Support Programme Area Manager, European Patent Academy, European Patent Office
Learn more about the strategies of successful SMEs, in particular the importance of people, recognition and reward mechanisms, the main forms of IP-driven transactions and IP enforcement strategies, and find out how start-ups and scale-ups manage challenges to enable high growth.
The potential value of technology and intellectual property (IP) assets can only be fully realised if it is accompanied by a people-centric perspective. For an efficient intellectual asset management of technology, all key players and cultural factors must be considered. Business decision-makers and IP managers must support and complement each other in an integrated, IP-driven environment throughout all phases of the intellectual asset (IA) value chain.
In the creation phase, IP managers together with decision-makers should employ a pro-active IA management approach that supports creativity, practice open innovation and create a working environment to attract and keep talent.
In the assessment and protection phase, IP managers play a leading role. The key recommendations are to integrate key business functions, implement milestone-based management that allows for repeated stop-or-go decisions, and align IP strategy with business strategy.
In the transactions phase, decision-makers take the lead supported by IP managers to realise value by monetising the IAs created and protected. With a focus on strategic transactions, the key recommendations are to ensure management continuity, plan ahead and align with partners through success-related incentives.
All phases of IA management require a high level of IP knowledge on the part of everyone involved. This can be achieved by providing appropriate training, becoming part of the IP/business community through attending events and sharing best practices.
Authors (in alphabetical order)
IDOM Consulting, Engineering, Architecture, S.A.U.
Founder and CEO, Globalator
Co-Director, Center for Intellectual Property (CIP),
University of Gothenburg
IP business leader, Peters IP consultancy, former Chief Intellectual Property Officer (CIPO) of Philips
Watch the "People as enablers for intellectual asset management – Lectures" from the High-growth technology business conference 2021.
Watch the "People as enablers for intellectual asset management - Questions & answers" session from the High-growth technology business conference 2021.
Decision‑makers in technology companies who embark on a high‑growth strategy for their company will likely engage in one or more of the following five strategic transaction types to optimise shareholder value: alliances, licensing, spin‑offs, acquisitions and divestments.
Full utilisation of key intellectual assets (technology, brand and operational excellence) as core drivers for strategic transactions ensures best results when executed properly. The common success enabler for any intellectual asset is the human factor. Technology intellectual property based on patents and trade marks needs to be enabled with team know‑how. Brand intellectual property based on trade marks needs to be enabled with customer mindshare. Operational excellence intellectual property based on operational systems needs to be enabled with implementation skills.
Moreover, in order to make strategic transactions successful, decision‑makers need to implement a continuous management process throughout all transaction phases. Solid preparation during the initial development phase and the proper management of the final implementation phase after a deal has been signed secure the ultimate value of a transaction.
Watch Transactions powered by IP assets. Listen to Juergen Graner explain the five key strategic transactions that are important for the growth of a company.
Founder and CEO, Globalator
Listen to Juergen Graner explain the five key strategic transactions that are important for the growth of a company.
In a keynote speech at the High- growth technology business conference 2021, Juergen Graner, founder and CEO of Globalator, elaborates in more detail about strategic transactions.
Watch the video "Transactions powered by intellectual assets - a decision-maker's perspective".
Patent disputes present specific issues for SMEs. This is true regardless of whether the SME is a patent owner who wishes to assert a patent or a defendant who is sued for patent infringement and wishes to invalidate a patent. Litigation tactics for SMEs can vary depending on the motivation of the opponent, to what industry sector the parties belong, whether litigation costs and fees must be borne by the losing party in the jurisdiction where the dispute takes place, and what the value of the dispute is. All these specific issues are dealt with in greater detail here, summarising 30 years of practical experience with SMEs at various courts in Europe and the United States.
Senior IP Specialist, Impact Licensing Initiative
Technology start-ups are key drivers of innovation. However, patents are often not their priority, especially in Europe. Key reasons for this are their strong focus on rather short-term objectives like winning paying customers and raising money from investors. Other complicating factors are the very divergent timeframes involved in the patent business and in growing a technology start-up with its regular strategy adjustments (pivots).
The best lever to motivate technology start-ups to invest in patent portfolios is through their investors. Therefore, more awareness and insights should be created amongst venture capital firms on the value of patents for their portfolio companies.
CEO, WBX Ventures, Co-Founder, sustainabill GmbH
Intellectual property has a powerful impact on growth for technology start-ups that integrate it into their business model evolution. Orcan Energy AG is a great example for the role that IP played in the dynamic growth of an innovator in generating power from waste heat when creating a joint venture to access the Asian markets.
Managing Director, TUM-Tech GmbH
Innovation Support Programme Area Manager,
European Patent Academy, European Patent Office
University technology start-up companies have the advantage of kick-starting their business with valuable intellectual property assets, a privilege few other start-ups have.
In all other aspects, they are faced with the same challenges any start-up would have, and probably have the additional disadvantage that not many academics are born businesspeople.
All start-ups should have at least two essential strategies in their management portfolio: (1) a risk management plan that considers scenarios of liability, both financial and legal, especially in the early stages, and (2) an IP strategy ensuring ownership, proper exploitation and management of assets, whether they are trade secrets, know-how, copyright or any of the registered IP rights.
Director Technology Transfer and Research Fellow of Chair
of Intellectual Property, Stellenbosch University
How to reward innovation is a major question for every technological company. Learn different mechanisms that can be implemented within a firm so that relevant contributors feel properly rewarded.
Corporate value no longer derives from tangible assets; at the same time, the role of intangible value is growing stronger by the day. Learn more about how to extract that value from an intellectual property strategy.
Selling a company and securing the future of the employees are not mutually exclusive. Companies put significant effort into building their technology intellectual assets (IAs) secured by patents and trade secrets, as well as brand IAs secured by trademarks. However, the case of Bender MedSystems clearly illustrates the power of the often neglected third IA, operational excellence, which can only be secured by operational systems embedded in a supportive company culture.
Founder and CEO, Globalator
More on the support for high-growth technology businesses in these excerpts from the book series “Winning with IP”, including a contribution from EPO’s experts (January 2022):
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