تجزیه و تحلیل نمونه کارهای به ثبت رسیده سفارشی در شرکتهای کوچک و متوسط
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : World Patent Information, Volume 31, Issue 4, December 2009, Pages 273–277
The management of patents is acknowledged to be closely correlated to a company’s profits. Thus, evaluation of patent portfolios is an essential task for companies producing or depending on technology-related products. While global players and consultants already have considerable experience in this field, no tool has so far been available that meets SME requirements. The Innovation and Patent-Centre at the Chamber of Commerce in Hamburg, a German think tank for patent management, has now developed a tool specially suited for SMEs. The article describes the methodology of the tool and compares it to other state-of-the-art tools. The tool gives an easy-to-understand overview for personnel with different professional backgrounds and facilitates strategic cross-functional discussions. Field tests carried out with SMEs in different industry sectors and with varying patent portfolio sizes and structures have shown good results.
The management of patents has proven to be closely correlated with a company’s profits . Thus, a company’s patent portfolio is increasingly regarded as of major interest for strategic business development decisions. Global players acknowledge this and implement well-defined patent strategies . This implies thoroughly surveying, evaluating and benchmarking patent portfolios. In contrast, SME find it difficult to analyse their patent portfolios within reasonable time and budget limits and still focus mainly on administrative tasks . With SME making out the majority of Hamburg based companies, this is lamentable for the local economy. Hence, the Innovation and Patent Centre (IPC) at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce decided to find a method to analyse patent portfolios specially suited for SME. As SME are playing a similar important role in many other regions in the world, the IPC-method should be of major interest to other consulting institutions and companies. Why is there apparently no appropriate method available for SME to evaluate their patent portfolios? Part of the answer can be found in the way strategic business development decisions are usually made. Clearly, the (estimated future) turnover is a predominant figure in investment calculations . But estimating future rents for patented technologies is much more difficult than forecasting future earnings for new products, as it is not yet clear, what kind of products can possibly be produced with the new technology. Either the patented technology will lead to entirely new products or it will change a product’s functionality and yield completely new business opportunities. Or it will do both/neither. The challenge here is to decide under extremely high uncertainty conditions. Thus, estimating future rents becomes an extremely time-consuming task – too much so for many SME. Furthermore, it can be dangerously misleading. A company trying to assess the market potential of a patent will easily get trapped in a vicious circle: If a company thinks a patented technology will yield only small profits, it will limit the marketing efforts. This leads to low turnover and will provoke even less marketing efforts (and so on). Hence, developing a method based on estimating future rents would be of little interest for SME. Second, academic research and commercial consulting companies concentrate in developing tools for big, globally operating companies, as they appeal more to them – both from a monetary and reputational point of view. But given the completely different preconditions of SME and big companies dealing with patents, those tools will often not be applicable for SME. Big companies usually have access to a sophisticated network of partners, be it R&D-partners or intermediaries, to help exploit their patents. The company’s name is generally well known and anybody in need of a new technology solution will first look at companies that first jump to the mind. As Arnoud Engelfried, a patent attorney in charge of licensing at Philips, puts it “[...] But a lot of companies contact us. They know – through databases and mouth-to mouth-propaganda – that Philips holds a lot of patents and has an open innovation philosophy” . SME have to face completely different pre-conditions. SME typically lack the infrastructure and budgets to invest in new business fields. And contacts to intermediaries willing to invest in conditioning and exploitation of patents are rare. Furthermore, the uncertainty about the quality of their patents is usually relatively high among potential licensees.