IP Management goes strategic – How National Patent Offices need to adapt to a world of open and collaborative innovation ?

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On 13th and 14th of January 2015, YouMeOImage1
was invited to Santiago de Chile to give a keynote speech and participate in a series of collaborative workshops and panel discussions at an international seminar on innovation, technology transfer and intellectual property.

The seIMG_0840minar was organized by the Chilean Patent Office INAPI and INPI France, in collaboration with WIPO-OMPI and the Chilean Agency for International Cooperation for Development and 100 participants from all over South America exchanged views and experiences about the role of intellectual property management in a world of open and collaborative innovation. The key question raised was how IP is challenged by new forms and concepts of innovation, such as open and collaborative innovation, social and inclusive innovation, bottom-of-the-pyramid or grassroots innovation, business model innovation … and how these concepts are changing IP management.

3 major issues emerged from the diverse and rich conversations:

  • Technology transfer, although it has been on the agenda for a long time still needs to be improved; efficient technology transfer requires good collaboration infrastructures, high-performance innovation networks and high transparency and availability of data related to intellectual property, posing new challenges to the National Patent Offices
  • Connecting research and new technology developments with innovation and driving their impacts into the real economy is becoming more and more important for efficient innovation systems; Patent Offices need to master and support the entire value chain of innovation from inception to realization
  • Innovation skills and competencies are a prerequisite for successful innovation systems; the demands and requirements for skills are changing rapidly with multidisciplinary and transverse approaches becoming more and more important

From ‘administrators of patents’ to ‘enablers of innovation’

In this rapidly changing context, there is an urgent need for National Patent Offices to reconsider their strategic value propositions. The ultimate objective of successful innovation systems is to improve the competitiveness of countries, regions, industries, sectors or enterprises. There are two ways of driving competitiveness through innovation: either through internal proprietary research – but this is costly and time consuming – or through cooperation with complementary players to build together missing technology bricks needed to satisfy emerging customer needs.

Collaborative innovation approaches – if well executed – are efficient and produce incredible results in many different industries. For incumbent players in the innovation system it istherefore crucial to adopt collaborative and open innovation approaches if they do not want to be outplayed by (sometimes unlikely) competitors that tend to be much smaller, more agile and yet well connected and with global ambitions.

National Patent Offices need to create the underlying infrastructure that enables the different actors of the innovation system to connect more easily, providing relevant information about patents, trademarks and available innovative solutions in an easily accessible manner. It’s this new role of a facilitator, a connector and a network manager which will become increasingly important in the future.

With this reorientation the National Patent Offices canIMG_0835 (1)
widen their footprint through the active promotion of economic activity and competitiveness. In this strategic ambition, the development and deployment of awareness building workshops and training programmes that provide companies with the necessary competencies and approaches to effectively deal with IP issues is essential. And so are ongoing efforts to develop and sustain a worldwide network of global relations to the various national patent offices and other important actors in international innovation systems.

This seminar was certainly a good example of a peer-to-peer learning experience between the French and Chilean Patent Offices, but much more is still to be done at political, strategic and operational levels to transform the National Patent Offices into strategic partners for sustainable and inclusive economic development based on a networked and proactive approach to IP management in an open and collaborative world.

We look forward to being part of the journey.

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