Background Question 1:

We are currently seeing a continuously accelerating digital transformation in the IP system. Especially in dealing with the stakeholders of the IP system as well as in the relationship and communication between attorneys and clients. As well as networking and professional exchange between IP experts, for example via social networks such as LinkedIn.

IP business academy: How do you perceive these changes?

Robert Klinski: I think you have to look at the situation very differently. One of the challenging issues that often gets behind the digital euphoria is: We are managing significant assets of the clients despite the communication form. We observe that the number of digital communications has increased, and the information content per digital communication has decreased. In cases that affect existing rights, like abandoning a patent, we double check with the client. We are planning to use AI for scanning digital communications in order to be able to extract from these communications the actual information, as it is easy to overlook an email or a sentence in a series of emails.

As far as exchanges within the IP community are concerned social networks are such a great source of information, and I have started to use it more extensively after various conversations with the colleagues at IP Business Academy. Interestingly, you can easily find out what the market is looking for by addressing various topics and looking what does work and what does not. Fun fact: My posting from a sailboat anchoring in a storm hell in the Mediterranean Sea got by far the most viewers 😊

I have started paying more attention to the feed quality, and the result is that I am muting and sorting our those from my network who post irrelevancies polluting my feed. In other words, I have been actively fine-tuning my feed on LinkedIn and this has significantly increased the quality of information in my own feed.

At the same time, it is my experience that relationships with clients remain very personal and, in my opinion, that is important. Another aspect is that I think that a professional social media platform like LinkedIn can replace expensive media.

Background Question 2:

Expert marketing refers to the targeted presentation and positioning of experts and their expertise. This includes a strong personal brand presence of the expert in the online area, in particular the creation and distribution of high-quality and useful content, and targeted lead generation. This also includes online reputation management, i.e. monitoring and positively influencing your own expert brand.

How important is your expert positioning for you and your business?

I think that this is the only way to have a real competitive advantage over competition in an anonymous market. Nobody needs these posts where someone praises themselves – it’s just annoying. At the same time, I think that in all the noise you need credibility and reference. This in turn requires modern means in digital experience spaces because everyone can have an opinion there, so to speak. I therefore appreciate the collaboration with the IP Business Academy team, as well as their content as a credibility filter.

Background Question 3:

50% of all decision-makers in business today are millennials and therefore digital natives. These are people who are used to obtaining information digitally and shopping digitally. The search behavior for specialist information has changed fundamentally in recent years. 40% of the 3.5 billion searches per day on Google are shifting to social networks and so more and more content is presented there. More and more customer journeys in the legal sector are taking place completely online.

How important do you consider online marketing to be and how important is a consistent customer journey for potential clients from social media to the website to email?

If someone searches for me on Google, they will get a good impression of my expertise and activity. I always assume that someone who gets to know me will also search me on Google and get information. I see our marketing as expert marketing – it’s no different offline than online – ultimately that’s our profession and what we offer our clients: We are experts.

In fact, it is a big challenge for individual experts to actually be found via Google, for example on a topic. For me it’s a good question how to achieve this. After all, I have already managed to rank relatively well on Google with the search term “IP harvesting”. We will continue to work on this.

For me there are no complete online client journeys yet. They are more like online-offline client journeys. This means, for example, that I meet a potential client in person at an offline event and then that person finds out more about me and the firm on our website and in LinkedIn online. I have noticed or seen this several times.

Background Question 4:

The search behavior for experts and the initiation of personal contacts has also changed due to social distancing during Corona pandemic and the current “new normal work“. The Google searchability of experts and their reputation is increasingly determined by their online presence. Spending on online marketing increased by 31 % last year. Designed for professional relationships, LinkedIn is growing by 15% annually with over 830 million members and is by far the most important network for legal advisors and IP experts.

Do you also observe these growth rates in client requests from your Online Marketing?

I had already explained that I and the law firm have not yet had any purely online client journeys. But we are present on various online channels in order to expand our scope and give our expertise the necessary visibility and reach. It was a long journey for us to build the Patentship brand and it was also difficult for me to become an expert brand. I am very pleased that I have already succeeded in this in some areas. I am now expanding on this and was very pleased about the CEIPI’s invitation to Strasbourg. Not only because of the direct interaction with the course participants but also through the online reporting. Younger decision-makers between 30 and 40 are now digital natives and they not only get information digitally, they also conduct professional relationships digitally and we want to prepare and respond to this.

About the interviewee:

Robert Klinski studied electrical engineering and telecommunications at the Technical University Hamburg-Harburg and received his doctorate with honors from the Munich Technical University in the field of digital signal processing for multicarrier systems. During his doctorate he worked with the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication Systems in Munich where he designed wired and wireless communication systems and held the position of a project and group leader. Furthermore, he is the author of numerous publications in the field of digital telecommunications and mentioned as inventor in several patents.

Robert Klinski has been working in the field of intellectual property since 2002 and is the founder of PATENTSHIP. He has extensive experience in infringement and nullity proceedings as well as in preparing and prosecuting German, European, PCT- and US-patent applications particularly in the area of electrical engineering, telecommunications, digital signal processing, RF technology, digital and analog circuit design, coding, cryptography, software, medical systems, mechanics and optics.