ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. ZEISS Group in generating an annual revenue of 5.8 billion euros in four different segments: Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology, Consumer Markets and Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology. ZEISS develops, produces and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microcopy solutions for the life sciences and material research, and medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. The name ZEISS is also synonymous with the world’s leading lithography optics, which are used by the chip industry to manufacture semiconductor components. There is global demand for trendsetting ZEISS brand product such as eyeglass lenses, camera lenses and binoculars.

Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science, is the sole owner of the holding company, Carl Zeiss AG. As the pioneer of science in optics, ZEISS continues to challenge the limits of our imagination. With its passion for excellence, ZEISS creates value for its customers and inspires the world to see things in new ways. Since it was established, top researchers and innovators have been shaping the company. Founders Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe joined forces with Otto Schott to establish the modern optical industry, thereby enabling fundamental discoveries in medicine and science.

Megatrends are shaping customers’ worlds: digitalization, globalization, demographics, healthcare and climate change. These are tremendous challenges and ZEISS believes it has a responsibility to develop the best technology that will take us into the future. They can thus help the customers to achieve tomorrow’s ambitions today. Digitalization and networking are speeding up globalization tremendously. Powerful new companies are being formed and turning entire industries on their head. Only those that have a strong structure and can adapt will remain competitive. With its know-how, ZEISS is developing intelligent measuring systems that are deployed in quality inspection in the energy, automotive and aerospace industries. State-of-the-art coordinate measuring technology is used to inspect the fit accuracy of drive train components in cars to ensure low wear, low fuel consumption and fewer CO2 emissions.

People in industrialized nations are living longer and populations in emerging and developing economies are growing – this puts tremendous pressure on healthcare.

The megatrends in society therefore include increased spending in healthcare around the world, urbanization and growing security needs. These are all subjects that ZEISS is currently monitoring in research and development to enable the company to offer appropriate solutions in the future.

Technological progress is enabling increasingly precise diagnoses and ever more effective treatments. However, broad access to first-rate treatment is still one of the greatest challenges we face. ZEISS has resolved to take on both challenges: time and again, high-end medical technology products have revolutionized diagnosis and treatment possibilities.

The development of a promising vision for IP management lies in the heart of Klaus Gnatzig, head of IP at ZEISS. Mr. Gnatzig studied physics at the Osnabrück University, where he graduated with the diploma. Short after graduation he joined the patent department of the Carl Zeiss AG in 1989. In 1995 he became a registered European patent attorney and in 1996 he became the head of the patent department.

Here is the Dinner Speech from Mr. Gnatzig.


In his Dinner Speech at MIPLM 2018-2019 program at 16th of May in Strasbourg, Mr. Gnatzig explains the vision of IP management in a leading technology company. Especially the challenges according to digital transformation and development of digital business models where addressed.

The newly formed unit “Digital Innovation Partners” within the ZEISS group has a clear goal: Enabling and accelerating the digital transformation of ZEISS at speed and at scale. They are developing digital solutions jointly with the ZEISS business groups and are accelerating innovation that delivers a future value for the customers and the company. They will do this by building on an incredible 170-year heritage of successful innovations. Globalization and digitalization are changing customer requirements and markets rapidly. It is now more important than ever to understand and implement innovations that customers need and expect in the future. ZEISS will offer its customers increasingly an integrated solution portfolio – consisting of hardware, software and services.

Interview with Klaus Gnatzig, Head of IP, Carl ZEISS AG