Matthew howell the role of ip in competitive strategy

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TSS Core 4: Competitive Strategy - Monday 8th November

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Matthew howell the role of ip in competitive strategy

  1. 1. ® ™ ©
  2. 2. The Role of Intellectual Property in Competitive Strategy Matthew Howell Senior Associate Withers & Rogers LLP
  3. 3. The Role of IP in Competitive Strategy • Intellectual Property ≠ Competitive Strategy! • But IP should be carefully considered as part of your competitive strategy • Why? • Intellectual Property rights are legal monopolies that can be used to prevent others from doing things • So can protect and enhance your competitive position
  4. 4. What is Intellectual Property? Registered Trade Marks Patents Common Law Trade Marks Registered Designs Know How Utility Models IP Copyright/D atabase rights Design Right
  5. 5. • Protect technical features of a product or process • Allow owner to prevent commercial dealings in the patented invention • Up to 20 years duration • Invention must be new and inventive • No non-confidential disclosure prior to filing application • Certain things are excluded by law from patent protection Patents
  6. 6. Software Patents – UK and Europe • Computer programs “as such” are not patentable in the UK and at the European Patent Office • But it is possible to obtain protection for certain types of “computer implemented invention” • For the European Patent Office the invention must produce a “technical effect” • The UK Intellectual Property Office requires an "inventive contribution" which is "technical" in nature
  7. 7. Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow and everywhere that Mary went, that lamb was sure to go. "Technical Effect" at the EPO
  8. 8. Software Patents – US Perspective • Patentable inventions: any “new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof” • 3 specific exceptions to patentability: "laws of nature, physical phenomena and abstract ideas” • US Patent system traditionally more liberal on computer programs than UK and EPO
  9. 9. Community Design Registration No.000748280-006 . • Protect the appearance of a product • Allow owner to prevent commercial dealings in products identical to or similar to the registered design • Up to 25 years duration • Design must be new and must have individual character • Application must be filed within 12 months of first public disclosure Registered Designs
  10. 10. Registered Trade Marks Community Trade Mark Registration No. 006314546 • Protect signs which distinguish the goods/services of one undertaking from those of another • Allow owner to prevent use of the mark registered, or similar mark, in relation to the goods/services for which it is registered • Must be capable of distinguishing • Words, logos, colours, shapes, sounds are registrable • Indefinite duration, renewable every 10 years UK Trade Mark Registration No.2460723
  11. 11. • Identify what makes you competitive • Can it be protected? • If so, move quickly to protect it • Mark your products and literature (pat. pending, ®, ©,™) to ensure that competitors are aware of your IP • Be vigilant for infringers and enforce your IP rights • Use your distribution networks and supply chain to help identify infringements IP in Competitive Strategy
  12. 12. IP in Competitive Strategy • Look at your competitors’ IP to ensure that you do not infringe, and to find out more about what they are doing and planning • Protect improvements to your own technology and potential improvements to competitor technology • Is there third-party IP in different fields that you could exclusively licence in to improve your product? • Review your IP position regularly; your strategy may change as your business grows
  13. 13. Example • In 1991 25% of all vacuum cleaners sold in the UK were made by Hoover • In 2001 more than 50% of the vacuum cleaners in the UK were sold by Dyson • In 2001 Hoover’s market share had dropped to less than 10% • In 2010 Dyson’s market share was 40% and operating profits were £190m
  14. 14. Example Dyson DC 01Dyson DC 01 • 19 April1979: Dyson’s first UK patent application filed • 17 June 1981: European patent application no. 0042723 “Vacuum Cleaning Appliance” filed • 21 August 1985: Dyson European patent no. 0042723 granted • 1993: Dyson DC 01 launched • “The first vacuum cleaner not to lose suction”
  15. 15. Example • In 1998 Dyson sold 1.4m units worldwide, generating revenues of £190m • In 1999 Hoover launched the “Triple Vortex” vacuum cleaner to compete with Dyson products • Dyson instigated patent infringement proceedings against Hoover at the UK High Court and won • In the High Court judgement of 2000, Hoover was ordered to stop supplying the Triple Vortex, Dyson was awarded £4m damages
  16. 16. Example • DC01 also protected by registered design • Dyson trade mark registered • To date, Dyson has filed >1000 patent applications • 119 Community Design applications • 65 Community Trade Mark applications UK Registered Design No. 2027539UK Registered Design No. 2027539 UK Trade Mark Registration No. 2000035 (Filed 31/10/94)UK Trade Mark Registration No. 2000035 (Filed 31/10/94) UK Trade Mark Registration No. 2316407 (filed 21/11/2002)UK Trade Mark Registration No. 2316407 (filed 21/11/2002)
  17. 17. • Identify what makes you competitive • Can it be protected? • If so, move quickly to protect it • Mark your products and literature (pat. pending, ®, ©,™) to ensure that competitors are aware of your IP • Be vigilant for infringers and enforce your IP rights • Use your distribution networks and supply chain to help identify infringements IP in Competitive Strategy
  18. 18. IP in Competitive Strategy • Look at your competitors’ IP to ensure that you do not infringe, and to find out more about what they are doing and planning • Protect improvements to your own technology and potential improvements to competitor technology • Is there third-party IP in different fields that you could exclusively licence in to improve your product? • Review your IP position regularly; your strategy may change as your business grows
  19. 19. • UK Intellectual Property Office: www.ipo.gov.uk • Free online patent searching: http://ep.espacenet.com/ • Free online trade mark searching UK: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/tm/t-os/t-find.htm, European: http://oami.europa.eu/CTMOnline/RequestManager/en_S earchAdvanced_NoReg • Free online design searching UK: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/design/d-os/d-find.htm, European: http://oami.europa.eu/RCDOnline/RequestManager • Patent attorneys! Resources
  20. 20. Thank you Matthew Howell mhowell@withersrogers.com © Copyright Withers & Rogers LLP 2010

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