The digital transformation not only leads to completely new players coming together, but also to more and more new companies expanding the competition to established companies. As a result, every entrepreneur has to face the digital transformation. DIN 77006 seems to offer one, if not the key to this challenge.
What does DIN 77006 do?
DIN 77006 places IP as a central business asset in the company and manages it with the help of PDCA cycles (plan-do-check-act) as part of a high-level structure.
An efficient IP process design is needed to actively exploit a company’s potential and generate new sources of revenue. The good news is that the challenges mentioned at the beginning can be addressed and even continuously improved by an optimized and up-to-date IPM. This is precisely the approach taken by DIN 77006, and how it can help to lay a new foundation for active, systematic and holistic IPM is discussed below.
What to optimize
The human factor is one of the biggest security risks for legally compliant IPM. This is true at both the departmental and corporate levels. If, for example, the management is not comprehensively involved in strategic IPM, and IP is not practiced holistically at all relevant levels of a group with sufficient communication and transparency among each other, the company becomes more susceptible to errors and is thus weaker in obtaining and defending IP rights. In this context, the attitude of a “lone wolf” in IP departments in this country also seems to continue to some extent, so that certain IP processes such as risk management, administration or even IP generation are concentrated on specialized personnel alone, which, however, further impedes knowledge transfer and a holistic approach within the department.
As a result, some IP processes within the department are handled without any cross-references to each other, which makes it impossible, for example, to standardize IP reporting to the management. Accordingly, management cannot feedback an IP strategy to be executed holistically within the company to the IP department or Legal. The requirements and structure of DIN 77006 offer a remedy for this, if they are integrated company-specifically and reliably lived. The good thing about this is that working in accordance with DIN 77006, which can also be certified externally, inevitably makes IP processes less prone to errors and these processes are continuously optimized; precisely because of the frequently implemented PDCA cycle, which allows its actions and documentation to be regularly scrutinized. Furthermore, IPM processes can be standardized to the greatest possible extent, so that, for example, the templates for comprehensive and transparent documentation only have to be prepared and set up once, which then have to be updated or supplemented.
The benefits and advantages
Digitalization sometimes allows work processes to be parallelized in a highly efficient manner and automated to a large extent. In this way, knowledge and exchange increase in a speed and abundance that can hardly be quantified. Results are achieved more quickly, shared immediately among each other and form the basis for new questions, which in turn lead to new results more quickly than ever before.
Inefficient and non-transparent work is increasingly becoming a thing of the past –worldwide. It is therefore not surprising that the patent landscapes of various industries are showing ever higher rates of digital patents. The agricultural sector can be mentioned here as an example. Accordingly, the “patent forest” that one has to analyze and wander through before – figuratively speaking – attempting to place one’s own patent in a clearing is increasingly dense, dark and literally branching out. Without an improved and up-to-date IPM at all levels of an organization, it will no longer be possible to cope with this. And this is exactly where DIN 77006 steps in as a neutral guide and control instrument to give companies a guideline for actively dealing with their IPM and optimizing it in a targeted manner. This is because DIN 77006 provides recommendations on how IPM can be adequately and effectively established, implemented, maintained and continuously improved in an organization.
The standard provides numerous recommendations, strategies, auditing and solution approaches for ensuring quality in IPM. It can therefore also provide assistance to patent law firms as well as (in-house) attorneys who are active in the field of intellectual property.
Facing the current challenge early, actively and systemically
As mentioned in Part 1 of this article series, entire markets, players, and claim orientations are currently shifting – namely from device and process patents to very broad use cases based on digital approaches and platforms, which are seriously reshaping the IP landscape. Such that potential patent infringements can now regularly arise against digital patents and applicants, whereby the alleged infringer usually only learns of the patent in dispute itself when the lawsuit is served. But in order to face these dangers early, actively and systematically, every company, regardless of size, orientation and industry, should rethink its own foundation of IPM and challenge and optimize it with the help of DIN 77006 presented here. Only by actively examining the current situation and knowing the requirements of active, systematic and holistic IPM in accordance with DIN 77006 the target situation described therein can be achieved, which allows for more comprehensive and legally secure IPM. This can also lead to consistent efficiency gains and synergy effects in daily routine work.
Particularly for small and medium-sized companies that have not yet to deal with IPM to any great extent, DIN 77006 can be a useful guide, if not even a jump start.
About the blogpost author:
Dr. Joern Plettig (Site Director; Patent Attorney; European Trademark & Design Attorney) gained insightful professional experience in a globally operating medical technology company as well as in two international IP law firms over the last decade. Thus, Dr. Plettig understands the “needs” of IP-oriented companies, especially from the pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device industries.
From a technical point of view, he holds a PhD in biology with a focus on molecular biology/genetics, cell biology and human biology. However, his work as a patent attorney has expanded his fields of activity many times; for example, to the areas of mechanics and product design as well.
Dr. Plettig completed his publication doctorate on innovative therapies for burn patients at the Charité in Berlin. Before that, Dr. Plettig studied biology at the Freie Universitaet of Berlin. During his academic training, he held several scientific appointments at the University of Pittsburgh, USA.
Since March 2021, Dr. Plettig is responsible for the office management of ETL IP Berlin, a sub-office of ETL IP as a parent company. His areas of expertise lie amongst others in the fields of German, European and International patent, trademark and design law — also including employee invention law. The technical focus of Dr. Plettig is reflected by regenerative medicine; stem cells; diagnostic markers; drug compounds/formulations; mRNA-based compounds; antibodies; vascular intervention; stents; heart valves; and catheter technology.