On April 30 2020, a seminar on the subject of “Patent protection of digital solutions for SMEs: from the app to the business model” was organized by the Europe Enterprise Network (EEN) and the Standortagentur Tirol. The protection of intellectual property offers SMEs an opportunity to assert themselves in digitally transforming business eco-systems, to secure their own profitable position and to create added value with innovation. If it is possible to have a legally enforceable exclusivity on a customer benefit in one’s own range of services, premium prices can be enforced, and market positions can be designed in digital business models.

In the webinar, the successful methods of IP management and IP design were demonstrated using best practice examples. Examples of AI-supported advertising with Mirriad, the digitalization of sales processes at Thyssenkrupp and the digitalization of entire eco-systems based on the digital transformation of agriculture were shown. The knowledge was then deepened with even more detailed MIPLM case studies. As an introduction, the targeted generation and use of IP in digital business models was motivated by the case studies Hilti and Heraeus Amloy. The digitalization of the construction process at the Austrian Umdasch Group Ventures and the development of RainTunes, the iTunes for the digital shower experience, at hansgrohe using the methods of IP design were then described in much greater detail. Further examples of successful IP management and IP design, as taught at CEIPI and with the EPO, can be found here.

Around 100 people from Tyrol and other parts of Austria took part in this extremely successful webinar. For the most part, it was representatives of well-known Austrian technology companies, but also patent attorneys and representatives of public organizations, as well as technology transfer offices (TTO) who received an up-to-date overview of IP management. The lecturer was Dr. Alexander J. Wurzer, professor of IP management at CEIPI, University of Strasbourg, and head of IP management training. Here are a few comments from participants about the webinar:

What did you learn in the webinar?

It was particularly interesting how a business model can first be developed in the digital environment and then protected with patents.

Would you recommend the webinar and if so, to whom?

I would definitely recommend the webinar to employees in industrial patent departments.

Dr. Bettina Ciesla, Head of IP Department Plansee Group



What did you learn in the webinar?

A first insight into the interface between the physical and the digital world, how relevant the digital ecosystem and IP design are.

Would you recommend the webinar and if so, to whom?

The webinar was interesting and I would recommend it, especially to patent attorneys, consultants for IP coaching (e.g. aws) and people who deal with IP business models in order to understand and possibly decide whether patent protection makes sense / is feasible / is necessary.

Dr. Doris Steinmüller-Nethl, CarbonCompetence GmbH


What did you learn in the webinar?

Because I worked in “conservative pharmaceuticals”, the new thinking processes were particularly interesting for me.

Would you recommend the webinar and if so, to whom?

Yes. Technology transfer offices at the university.

Petra Kotaskova-Linhartova, Büro für Forschungsförderung und Innovation (FFI) Vetmeduni Vienna



The recording of the webinar is available here:

The presented YouTube Videos can be found here:

Additional Links are: