IP Recap #48

May 9, 2018


World IP Day 2018

Women in Innovation

The Story
The 26th of April is world IP day and this year the theme was women in innovation. This was an opportunity to highlight how the IP system can support innovative and creative women (and indeed everyone) in their quest to bring their amazing ideas to market. The world IP day this year was a celebration of the achievements women have made in IP and a reflection on where we currently stand. The headline finding was that representation of women listed as inventors on patents has increased by 23% over the last decade, and has increased 500% since 1975, which shows progress, but this is still only a rate of 31% of all patent applications.

Why it Matters
Patents are well placed for this kind of analysis with the extensive databases containing details of inventors. And while it’s far from parity, there are other success stories within the stats, such as applications from the Republic of Korea filing 50% of applications with at least one woman. Biotech, Pharma, Organic fine chemistry and Food Chemistry were tech sectors over the 50% mark for the same statistic. This is even ahead of femtech, which we found to have 35% of patents with at least one female inventor. As well as the top level statistics, WIPO published a list of case studies of success stories from around the world, and it will be interesting to see if these trends continue.

IP Valuation

Methods and Modeling

Financial Modelling IP Valuation


The Story
Estimating the value of a company requires a method of calculating the value of each part of the company. IP represents a major business asset, protects market space, and is even a source of revenue, but the valuation of intangible assets like IP is notoriously difficult. IPWatchdog has published an overview of different methods for estimating the value of IP. The methods explored include the “cost-based valuation”, which essentially determines the cost to create the IP asset which are therefore being bypassed by purchasing the pre-existing IP as there is no R&D, materials, trialling etc.; The “income-based” method, which considers market size and licensing rates in order to forecast future revenues from the IP; and the “market-based” method which uses market data for the most similar transactions to estimate the expected price.

Why it Matters
The value of a company’s IP needs to be presented accurately in order to fully understand its economic impact on a business. For example, IP valuation modeling can be used to create a projection of potential financial outcomes based on valuation models, market research and behavior trends. These valuation models are then used to guide decision making during IP licensing and sales negotiations. IP valuation can also be used in IP-backed lending, where a guideline of the value will be very useful for negotiating rates and how much IP the lender can hold as collateral. However, IP valuation is just one aspect of IP strategy.  Knowing which model to choose can be tricky, but an experienced IP strategist would know how to apply the model or models that best suit your business and your desired business outcomes.

Could Volvo change the automotive IP culture?

What direction will their new IP counsel take with their IP?

Volvo IP Strategy


The Story
In terms of automotive IP, it tends to be Ford who steals the headlines with their ambitious ideas such as the autonomous electric motorcycle within a car or an autonomous police car, but Volvo says they’re looking to up their IP game somewhat having hired a new global chief IP Counsel. He comes from GE and warns that convergence of technology could lead to the industry sleepwalking into IP litigation.

Why it Matters
Volvo has a rather small portfolio, with less than 1000 patent families, which the article attributes to their being part of the Ford group from 1999 until they were acquired by Geely in 2010. This means that realistically they’ll need to undergo both rapid filing and a patent acquisition program to get a portfolio big enough that they can use it against other OEMs or startups that come their way. They even hint at the possibility of an assertion program in the US. As the auto industry moves into an autonomous, energy efficient, and connected future, the IP strategies of the companies involved are evolving too.

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