LAVOIX launches the first edition of the Intellectual Property BarometerTM, aimed at analysing trends in Intellectual Property (IP) practices in French companies and public sector entities.
In the current economic environment wherein knowledge equals growth, IP rights play a key role and are becoming increasingly numerous and complex to manage. Today they are an important, if not vital, asset in a business’s development strategies.
The role of IP managers and the challenges they face are therefore changing significantly, in particular in terms of IP management and interaction with other departments in the company, but also in terms of direct reporting lines.
To help IP managers optimise their activity, LAVOIX decided to carry out a major study on IP practices, which will be repeated every year, surveying managers responsible for this field: the IP BarometerTM.
The results of the IP BarometerTM for 2012 show that IP Managers consider themselves to be facing a twofold challenge:
- The first relates to recognition and awareness of the role of IP, which requires raising the awareness of management and various internal players of the legal and financial aspects of IP,
- The second challenge is operational and comes down to the necessity of accompanying the development of new products and guaranteeing that they can be freely exploited.
The perception held by IP managers of the challenges they face is the result of the current situation of IP within companies. According to the IP BarometerTM respondents, the perception of the strategic role of IP is not sufficient today as they evaluate the level of perception of the strategic aspect of IP by their company on average at 5.8 on a scale of 1 to 10.
Furthermore, only 35% of respondents indicate that they report to the highest level of the company. Thus, in two-thirds of cases, IP positions have no autonomy and necessarily play a more limited role in the company’s strategic decisions.
This lack of involvement in corporate strategy is also influenced by the fact that only 40% of IP teams, although at times large (from two to 11 individuals, depending on the IP activity), work within a dedicated IP department. The largest corporations, in particular, break down IP between the legal department for trade marks and the technical department (innovation, R&D, etc.) for patents.
According to Philippe Blot, Chairman of LAVOIX, "This separation certainly makes it more difficult to define and implement a single IP strategy and integrate it into the company's overall strategy.”
The IP BarometerTM also shows that IP Managers see an evolution in their role towards more strategic activities focused on the optimisation of IP strategy and competitive intelligence.
The latter point falls under the operational challenge referred to above and seems to indicate that IP Managers fear that their companies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the IP rights of their competitors.
Download the summary of results here (French version only)