In the third part of our article series, we analyzed why companies might need to implement the DIN 77006 and what the concrete benefits of the DIN can be for you. In this article, we will take a concrete look at the implementation and explain step by step how you should proceed if you want to establish the DIN 77006 in your company.
Instructions – This is how you proceed
The following rough procedure can provide a solid starting point for implementing the DIN 77006 in your company over a period of approximately two years:
1 . Record the ACTUAL state
Only errors that are known can be corrected and avoided in the future. What is good and established, does not have to be restarted, but if necessary better documented. Here, the company must honestly look itself in the mirror and take stock of how IPM and its processes are currently handled and documented. What challenges does IP management (IPM) currently face on a day-to-day basis? A complete and clean “inventory” of your IPM forms the basis for introducing the DIN 77006 into the company in a target-oriented manner.
2 . Derivation of an action/project plan from the current status analysis
The recorded ACTUAL state is “challenged” against the relevant requirements of the DIN 77006. Where there is room for maneuver, it is weighed up to what extent certain requirements should be addressed and what type of documentation seems suitable. Based on this, it is advisable to draw up a plan of action or project plan that specifies how implementation is to proceed.
3 . Define the TARGET state and achieve it over a suitable period of time – bring the existing management systems into line with the DIN 77006
The action plan or project plan is put into practice and the newly established IP processes are internally checked for conformity with the DIN 77006. In case of deviations, the error is analyzed and eradicated in order to achieve a predefined TARGET state. In the process, all existing management systems can be transferred in the direction of DIN 77006 where possible.
4 . Supplementary submission of a declaration of conformity
Provided that the newly integrated IPM seems to have reached the predefined TARGET state, a review of it can be commissioned externally to request a declaration of conformity of your IPM with the DIN 77006.
Even if the above points initially mean additional work in your company, the time will be well invested to operate IPM in a more legally compliant, holistic and efficient manner. This in turn creates capacity to face the intellectual property challenges of tomorrow.
The effort is worth it
Involving all relevant levels of an organization in IPM, implementing PDCA cycles in daily, monthly and annual operations, and improving IPM documentation will yield dividends for your organization in terms of automation, time and money in the foreseeable future. This increases the efficiency of the IPM and thus of your entire company.
Furthermore, the legal security of your work increases due to the more complete fulfillment of your organizational and due diligence obligations.
DIN 77006 – Relevance for Courts
DIN 77006 can also continually expand the relevance for courts, namely precisely for the assessment of organizational and due diligence obligations or good IPM practice. By means of this standard, a basis has now been created for the German area to better evaluate the careful and lawful handling of IP on a factual level.
Judges can now use this standard, among other things, to determine whether IPM is sufficiently careful or inadequate.
Similarly, companies that have implemented the requirements of DIN 77006 and, at best, have also had themselves declared compliant, can prove that they have done everything necessary to avert damage in the IP area. If damage should nevertheless have occurred, the culpable misconduct could at least be less severe in terms of punishment due to compliance with specified organizational and due diligence obligations.
In order to identify due diligence requirements or organizational culpability, courts regularly also look to legal standards or sets of rules. DIN standards, among others, are valid sets of rules.
Thus, the cycle presented in detail in this series of articles can be briefly summarized once again as follows: The fact is, as a result of the digital transformation, companies are facing increased IP risks. This makes it more difficult to comply with reported due diligence and organizational obligations. This in turn results in the risk of accusations of negligence in IPM. Negligent behavior itself is determined, among other things, on the basis of existing standards, be they laws, sets of rules or standards such as the DIN 77006. However, if you have had your IPM declared externally DIN-compliant, this offers a way out of the accusation of negligence and thus possibly noticeably reduces any damage that may have occurred.
About the blogpost author:
Dr. Jörn Plettig (Site Director; Patent Attorney; European Trademark & Design Attorney) gained insightful professional experience in a globally operating medical technology company as well as in two international IP law firms over the last decade. Thus, Dr. Plettig understands the “needs” of IP-oriented companies, especially from the pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device industries.
From a technical point of view, he holds a PhD in biology with a focus on molecular biology/genetics, cell biology and human biology. However, his work as a patent attorney has expanded his fields of activity many times; for example, to the areas of mechanics and product design as well.
Dr. Plettig completed his publication doctorate on innovative therapies for burn patients at the Charité in Berlin. Before that, Dr. Plettig studied biology at the Freie Universitaet of Berlin. During his academic training, he held several scientific appointments at the University of Pittsburgh, USA.
Since March 2021, Dr. Plettig is responsible for the office management of ETL IP Berlin, a sub-office of ETL IP as a parent company. His areas of expertise lie amongst others in the fields of German, European and International patent, trademark and design law — also including employee invention law. The technical focus of Dr. Plettig is reflected by regenerative medicine; stem cells; diagnostic markers; drug compounds/formulations; mRNA-based compounds; antibodies; vascular intervention; stents; heart valves; and catheter technology.