„Challenges of digitalization for IP departments” was the title of Beat Weibel’s lecture at the VPP spring conference in Stuttgart. He describes a future scenario for IP work under the framework conditions of VUCA: volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. The digital transformation not only means uncertainty and complexity, new business models and opportunities must also be taken into account and used where possible. Value-added architectures are questioned and redesigned, value propositions and customer relationships are realigned. Companies like Siemens create solutions for customers in digital, cloud-based eco-systems with other partners and are increasingly cooperative and open. This situation poses enormous challenges for IP management.

Beat Weibel was born in Zurich in 1966 and after studying electrical engineering at the ETH Zurich became a patent attorney at ABB, where he headed the IP department for many years. Since January 2013 he has been head of IP at the Siemens AG. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition and speaks at many public events about the challenges of IP and the future of IP management.

Weibel has committed himself to IP management that is based on the quality of the IP and he carefully sorts out patents from the extensive Siemens patent portfolio if the quality of a patent is insufficient.

In the lecture at the VPP spring conference, Beat Weibel explains which challenges the digital transformation poses to IP protection, how the path of Siemens AG from an invention-driven to a value-driven IP strategy looks like and which challenges arise for the professional profile of the patent attorney and IP Departments.

Here is a summary of the lecture