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/ Created by Felipe von Heereman

Business success with IP management

Can DIN 77006 for the protection of intellectual property rights help to meet the challenges of digitalization?

A digital economy is characterized, among other things, by the fact that devices are increasingly networked with each other and via the web. This generally leads to an increased importance of intellectual property rights and other intangible assets. This in turn leads to completely new players in the market segments. For example, the Internet of Things results in car manufacturers having to deal with the intellectual property rights of smartphone manufacturers. At the same time, the products on offer are also becoming increasingly complex – smartphones, for example, are now protected by well over 100,000 patents. In addition, the Covid-19 situation has made economic conditions more difficult, and every company has to deal with them in a new and very individual way. In short: today's challenges for the economy are increasingly complex. It is therefore all the more important not to lose sight of the big picture when dealing with intellectual property rights. This applies not only to one' s own IP strategy, but also to the monitoring of suppliers' IP strategies.

The targeted use of intellectual property rights is often an important component of corporate strategy and is crucial to the success of a company. In this context, intellectual property rights consist not only of the protection of new technical inventions in the form of patents, which are usually created in the development departments. Unique selling propositions can just as well be based on a particular form, design or product, or can manifest themselves in special materials or functions, as is the case with smartphones. Brands are also an elementary component of successful corporate strategies and can contribute to a monopolistic position.

In order to fully exploit the advantages of intellectual property rights, DIN 77006 can be helpful. A significant starting point of the standard is the integration of the IP strategy into the corporate strategy in order to improve the quality and productivity as well as the value creation of the respective company. The objective is to achieve a better market positioning compared to competitors and to reduce IP risks.

The DIN standard provides a guideline for the quality of IP management and deals with the derivation of the IP strategy based on the respective business model up to the creation of the industrial property rights. It also describes requirements for identification and further development, including the enforcement and defense of corporate values.

The aim of the standard is to provide an atmosphere for innovative thinking, to make resources available for this purpose and to use competitive advantages that arise from innovations. At the same time, companies should be given the opportunity to sufficiently protect innovations from attacks by third parties and to find ways to enforce their corporate strategy at an early stage without being blocked by competitors.

Companies often fail to recognize in time that their intellectual property rights have been infringed, or they have difficulty keeping track of them because they have become much more complex and diverse as a result of digitalization and market integration. IPR violations can cause considerable economic damage and have a negative impact on a company's reputation. In such cases, the right strategy in IP disputes can be a valuable aid. It can save not only costs, but also resources that can be used more profitably elsewhere. Part of risk management is therefore to identify threats from third-party IP in good time and to determine suitable measures.

A further key aspect of the DIN standard is to create a better understanding of IP within a company in order to promote awareness of innovative ideas, generate attention, and support and train employees and stakeholders.

The standard is also helpful for the acquisition and exploitation of intellectual property rights as well as for IP reporting to promote transparency and the continuous improvement of IP processes within a company.

All these processes are to be integrated into the core processes of business operations and are based on the high-level structure of DIN EN ISO 9001:2015. However, they do not require it.

Conclusion

Innovation management and IP management are still often different specialist areas in companies today. In these times, which are characterized by the Covid-19 situation, digitalization, and the merging of market segments, interactive disciplines are increasingly required to ensure successful market positioning against competitors. "Those who derive an appropriate IP strategy from their business model and systematically integrate it into their own innovation process can gain advantages in a competitive market and ensure sustainable margins. Addressing the requirements of DIN 77006 provides a guideline for this", says Felipe von Heereman, patent attorney at Cohausz & Florack.

As a law firm, we have decades of experience in the implementation of innovation and IP management processes, both in small and medium-sized companies as well as in corporate groups. Our versatile range of consulting services also includes the new DIN 77006 standard, which has been seamlessly integrated into our previous consulting approach to innovation and IP management. If you would like to know more about DIN 77006 and its implementation in your company, please feel free to contact us!

 

Picture credits: j-mel – AdobeStock

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