New research project at the MIPLM: Comparison of national patent strategies

The Regional Innovation Scoreboard provides a comparative analysis of innovation performance in EU regions. The report of 2017 confirms that Europe’s most innovative regions are located in the most innovative countries. The most innovative region in the EU is Stockholm in Sweden, followed by Hovedstaden (Copenhagen) in Denmark, and South East in the United Kingdom. Some regional innovative hubs exist also in moderate innovator countries: Praha (Prague) in the Czech Republic, Bratislavský kraj (Bratislava) in Slovakia, and País Vasco (Basque Country) in Spain. However, it has been found that in different regions with comparable R&D expenditure data, for example, Oberfranken in Germany, Westösterreich in Austria, the Border, Midland and Western of Ireland and the Basque Country in Spain, the patent propensity differs significantly. The main objective of this study is to analyse the IP Strategy of some of the most innovative regions with high IPR creation propensity, especially patent propensity, and to formulate possible key actions in a bench marking and best practice approach for innovative regions with lower IPR creation propensity, taking into account the criteria given by the WIPO for selecting benchmark countries.

Innovative regions of the following countries have been selected for the comparative analysis in this project: Germany, France, Austria, Ireland as strong innovative countries and Spain as less innovative country. After the analysis of the IP Strategy of these countries it has been seen that there are four relevant issues to consider when designing policies to promote the patent propensity in an innovative region of Europe with lower IPR creation propensity.

Firstly, it is important to carry out awareness-raising and training work on the role that the IP has in the business success. Secondly, the development of IP Strategy and IP Management of the companies must be encouraged. Four kinds of programs or actions have been identified for achieving this:

(1) Programs oriented to give a diagnostic and some hints in how to use IP Rights;

(2) Programs oriented to create a personalized IP Strategy and IP management;

(3) Subsidies oriented to create IP assets or acquire external IP assets; and

(4) Programs related with the IP strategy development and standardisation in the field of IT industry.

Thirdly, it is also important to encourage the exploitation and enforcement of IP. Once the IP assets are created, it is necessary to have a proper management and exploitation of them.

Finally, a good visibility of all the implemented policies and actions related with IP matters for the interested parties would be helpful to encourage the strategic use of IP.

Idoia Apraiz has been a partner and patent adviser at GALBAIAN Intellectual Property since 2012. Her practice focusses on providing a comprehensive service on patents, and her areas of specialisation include chemistry, biotechnology, food, and health. She has extensive experience in patentability analysis, drafting and prosecution of Spanish, European and international patent applications and utility models, infringement risk and patent validity studies. Since 2015, she is also heading activities related to technology transfer of GALBAIAN’S clients. Ms. Apraiz holds an B. SC and a Ph.D. in Pharmacy. She is a Spanish Official Industrial Property Agent, a qualified European Patent Attorney and holds an Master of Intellectual Property Law and Management (MIPLM) from CEIPI.

This research project is conducted by MIPLM graduate Idoia Apraiz and supervised by Prof. Dr. Alexander Wurzer and Dr. Thibaud Lelong both CEIPI. Here is a description of the research project: Identification of key actions in national IP strategy countries with strongly or highly innovative EU regions with high patent propensity.

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