Dr. Eiselt, you are an experienced IP manager who has also worked in several international companies. Why do you think IP management is becoming increasingly important for companies?

As a holder of a doctorate in physics and a long-time executive, I am convinced that IP management will become increasingly important. At the BLANC & FISCHER family holding, where I work as Director/Head of Corporate IPR, we can see this clearly.

The tasks of IP management in a company are, in abstract terms, to participate in the acquisition of technological knowledge and the utilization of technological knowledge for the economic benefit of the company. The importance of knowledge, which is often recorded in patents, is constantly increasing. This also increases the importance of IP management, which has to deal with its own patents and those of third parties.

All of this can only be achieved through an economic and management-oriented holistic understanding, for example in the development of IP strategies. When making business decisions, knowledge of IP management with the various topics such as strategy, innovation, evaluation, organization, business development and leadership are of great importance for the success of companies.

Do you think that continuous education and training is important in IP management, especially for IP experts?

Yes, for sure! We live in a knowledge society and knowledge economy. As an IP manager, I have to be up to date on all matters of technological development. The increasing complexity of the economy can be perceived everywhere. Patent applications have increased by 1,400 % in the last 20 years at the EPO. We are constantly dealing with complex new issues and facts, and both the complexity and the dynamics are continuously increasing. As a consequence, the concept of lifelong learning has become enormously important, and the energy and fun of acquiring knowledge have also become important motivational aspects.

Keeping up to date with the latest scientific developments requires expertise. Digital transformation and globalization are challenges to constantly update and adapt one’s own knowledge. These challenges are a reliable source of topics that need to be learned and trained.

Here, a transparent learning platform helps us a lot, where content is curated according to academic quality criteria and where the motivation of the lecturers to impart knowledge is clear. Networking with social media such as LinkedIn is also a great advantage – I am active there myself and always receive and post news and content and expand my network. I also actively follow the CEIPI IP Business Academy to stay informed on global IP management topics.

In your view, is a digital learning platform particularly suitable for imparting know-how on IP management?

Yes, the BLANC & FISCHER family holding recently rolled out a company-wide digital learning system.  In this system, which was set up by HR and in which a wide variety of topics ranging from management knowledge to specialist knowledge are offered, a learning platform that deals with IP-management-specific issues fits in excellently and closes a gap.

Digital learning is already happening today, it’s no longer just the future. In a way, digital learning is an extension of digital work. For certain topics, people will still attend events, but the importance will then no longer lie solely on the acquisition of knowledge, but often on the exchange with other people associated with attending the event.

The knowledge in a learning management system is bindingly available 24/7 as needed – this is very important, especially in the context of international activities. One can view complex content as often as one likes. Expert knowledge is also preserved until it is updated. You can decide for yourself how deeply you want to delve into a subject area. Digital is also faster. Through the link with LinkedIn, the Ambassadors, Mentors and Lecturers, one is informed worldwide and also receives background information about the available course content. If you urgently need topics, you can find lecturers via the platform who want to share their knowledge and you can also evaluate this transparently – this is one of the various quality assurance measures. This is an open platform and you can create content yourself. Blended learning is also supported and is important in order to better prepare and understand complex issues.

From the companies’ point of view, it is very much about building up competencies and standardizing processes – this can only be done in a binding manner and with an individual learning history via a learning management system. It is then clearly defined which employees must know which content about IP and the associated processes.

Do you think that creating IP awareness and an IP culture is important, especially among non-IP experts in the company?

Absolutely – IP is a topic that ultimately affects all functions of the company. With patent issues, this can classically affect the R&D department, with brand issues the marketing department, but also product management.  In the end, all functions come into typical situations where IP plays a role, and then they have to recognize the IP relevance and react. If this doesn’t happen, there are significant IP risks, and we can see the big cases in the media again and again, when even large and successful corporations are sued because of mistakes in IP management. For this reason, employees should be made aware of the IP culture on a regular basis and also during onboarding.

Dear Dr. Eiselt, thank you very much for the interview.

About Dr. Jürgen Eiselt

Jürgen Eiselt studied at the University of Ulm and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich and received his PhD in quantum optics from the University of Ulm in 1990. Eiselt studied for the EEP preparation at the Centre d’Etudes Internationales de la Propriété Intellectuelle – CEIPI from 2012 to 2015. He also participated in a variety of national and international courses from the MBA canon.

Jürgen Eiselt worked from 1990 to 1992 at Siemens Computer Gesellschaft Konstanz in the area of embedded SW development for a wired network communication system. From 1992 to 1999, he worked at Daimler Benz Interservices, first as a project manager, then as a consultant in several projects in the mobility and transport telematics market segment, and as a trainer for Iterative Application Development (now Scrum), before joining the research department at Daimler. After Daimler, he went to Nokia for thirteen years, initially as a product development manager where, among other things, he was head of development for two cell phones.  Later, Eiselt was a senior manager at the corporate level responsible for innovation and technology management in the areas of batteries, materials, mechanical and electromechanical components, and user interaction for cell phones. As Senior IPR Expert, he was responsible for the IPR site of the Ulm R&D Center and the IP portfolio management of Nokia Battery & Energy Management.

In 2012, Eiselt became Vice Director Corporate IPR of the E.G.O.. Group, a subsidiary of the BLANC & FISCHER family holding, and since 2016 has been Director/Head of Corporate IPR at BLANC & FISCHER family holding, where he is responsible for all IPR matters.