Companies like Netflix, Cirque du Soleil, Nintendo managed to attract new customers and completely differentiate from their competitors by creating new markets. Cirque du Soleil, developed a new cirque style and managed to attract a new audience that was not used to go to traditional cirque. Netflix changed the way of accessing films, from renting physical video tapes to accessing online at any time. Nintendo was able to create the Nintendo Wii, that was the best sold video-game console ever.

To differentiate from competitors, some companies have opted to create value by innovation. Not necessarily using new technologies but expanding the market boundaries and developing their brands. Instead of fighting for clients with fierce price competition, the companies have opted to make the competition irrelevant by generating new opportunities and entering into brand new spaces where there is no competition and managed attracting new customers.

In 2005 W. Chan Kim and R. Mauborgne in their book “Blue Ocean Strategies” developed the term of blue ocean strategies in contrast to red ocean strategies. In blue oceans, companies are developing strategies to enter into new markets with no competition. In contrast to already existing markets, which are very competitive markets, where companies try to distinguish themselves from competitors by competing in prices. We can find examples in the fast food industry like McDonald’s and Burger King competing with each other.  Another example could be Uber. This is an example of a business strategy, where there is an already existing demand and the company is competing by fierce price competition. These markets are defined as red ocean, where the fierce competition is compared to an ocean full of sharks.

A further evolution of blue ocean are the black ocean strategies, where competition is not possible. In black oceans, no new markets are created but the organizations are distributed in ecosystems where the main actors are the gate keepers of the ecosystem, and they allow other companies to interact. Examples of black ocean strategies are Microsoft, Apple or Amazon. These companies have created an ecosystem around their business activities and control the participants and try to isolate their markets from competitors.

This diploma project was presented by DU graduate Toni Santamaria in the final oral examination. This university diploma will be awarded by the CEIPI IP Business Academy together with the European Patent Office from the academic year 2023/2024:
Co-labelled University Diploma in IP Business Administration CEIPI/EPO – IP Business Academy

Toni Santamaria is leading the Intellectual Property team at Adalvo. He has more than 20 years of experience in different pharmaceutical companies where he has been involved in developing and implementing complex patent and data exclusivity litigation strategies for several generics and added value products, including leading parallel litigation cases in multiple European countries. He also has experience in patent and trademark prosecution. Toni qualified as European Patent Attorney in 2010 and holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry.


Here is his presentation of the diploma project: