A new Certified University Course about “Integrated IP and Innovation Management” starts on 15th of June 2020 at the University of Strasbourg, CEIPI. The enrollment for the course is already open. The Course is provided through one of the most advanced distance learning platforms worldwide. Participants are flexible in their education. Learning without time pressure, as well as with a job and family are possible. The students benefit from a long-standing teaching practice in IP-Management which has been established at CEIPI since 2005. Information about the registration for this and other Certified University Courses can be found here.
The integration of innovation and IP management has received a rising attention over the last decade. The general shift from an industrial economy into the direction of a knowledge economy makes IP increasingly important. The ongoing and widespread prevailing integration of software into physical products, the usage of IoT technologies and different major technological shift for example in mobility, energy and health care shows, how important IP management within innovation projects has become. The accelerating speed and steeply rising complexity in product development create a need for further professionalism within the integration of IP and innovation management. The systematic interaction between IP competencies and innovation teams is industry specific and depends of the company size, but the integration of R&D staff in the IP filing process is crucial for success.
Innovation is crucial for competitiveness of companies, so also the IP filing tactics have to be aligned with the innovation process. There is no secret formula for success, but there are important insights in patterns of failure and management challenges. “The Innovator’s Dilemma” is one of the most important concepts, which explains how innovation takes place and why market leaders and incumbents fail to seize the next wave of innovation in their industries. Clayton Christensen shows how the same (good) practices that lead to a business success can eventually lead to its demise – this is the dilemma in a nutshell. Another valuable concept comes from James Utterback and helps mastering the dynamics of innovation, it’s called “dominant design”. A dominant design is that one, which wins the allegiance of the marketplace, so that customers expect certain features and a specific architecture of a product. Competitors and innovators must stick to the dominant design if they hope to receive a significant market share. Dominant designs may not be better than other designs; they simply incorporate a set of key features that sometimes emerge due to technological path-dependence and not necessarily strict customer preferences. Obviously, this understanding of innovation has strong implication for IP strategies and practice.
Clayton Christensen explains disruptive innovation
An important and frequently used concept in the field of innovation is the integration of lead users into the proofs for developing innovative product concepts. Lead users are customers who think future orientated and can articulate challenges, which they would like to solve. With lead users it is possible to develop concepts and experimental solutions for generating new products. Social media has offered promising new possibilities for companies in terms of supporting lead user integration. The lead user approach was developed by Eric von Hippel and is used for developing breakthrough product. This method is applied in very successful and innovative companies like 3M and Hilti.
Innovation frequently translates into the creation of new markets forcing firms, which decide to enter a new market, to choose an appropriate strategy. Timing is a very important strategic tool for example when launching a new product. Companies follow different entry timing strategies for hitting the market. There are first mover and follower advantages and disadvantages, which have both strong implications to IP management. The timing of entry depends for example significantly on the demand and technology uncertainty of a new product. Creating a brand identity, finding the dominant design or crating a standard and a licensing program are means of IP management to support the timing strategy in innovation management.
Explanation of S-curves in innovation
Regarding the innovation process and the IP management processes the discussion leads to business process management (BPM). BPM is the discipline of improving a business process from end to end by analyzing it, modeling how it works in different scenarios, executing improvements, monitoring the improved process and continually optimizing it. A business process is an activity or a set of activities that will accomplish a specific goal like the FTO process, the trademark-enforcement process or the IP-design process. BPM allows organizations to understand the various processes that happen within an organization, analyze them from end to end and improve them on an ongoing basis. IP management as an integrated management system is based on a process landscape, which comprises all technology and market-relevant processes in addition to innovation- and information processes. Optimizing this process landscape according to the IP strategy is the challenge of IP management. Here, also the use of modern IP management systems can help in the innovation process.
Are there alternatives for the innovation funnel?
The university certificate on integrated IP and innovation management comprises issues like:
- Disruptive Innovation: How can data driven use cases, customer benefits and business models be designed and legally protected?
- Analyzing and optimizing the generation of inventions and patent filing tactics
- Inside innovation intelligence and the need of information for growth and competitive advantages in a globalized hyper-competitive world
- The integrated next generation IP management system
- Motivation and participation Challenges: How to integrate and engage R&D and technology experts to deliver creative, unique and protectable inputs for creating successful IP?
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