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3 December, 2008

Handy Dandy Design: the CTM no. 500.000 is Italian

Filed under: design, intellectual property, marchi, news, trademark — Tags: , , , , — Eva Callegari @ 7:31 pm

numbers1Fresh news report from Alicante: the 500.000th Community trade mark registered by OHIM is Italian.

The TM is registered by Handy Dandy Design, a company based in Milan which develops good design for tech products of daily use.

The OHIM President Wubbo de Boer, who announced the news, said that he was
delighted that this special trade mark had gone to an SME: “Our goal – he explained – is to make IP protection both affordable and accessible and this is particularly important for smaller companies making their way in the internal market and striving to get attention in the global

Due to the same reasons, next months’ OHIM declared goal will be to reduce either timing and costs for filing community trade marks.

(IP Faber: TM protection and brand strategy for enforcing your innovative business. Contact us)

Creative Commons License Photo credit: erin watson photography


2 October, 2008

Meet the CIPO (part 2)

Filed under: news, thoughts — Tags: , , , — Enrico @ 10:06 am

Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: Ecstaticist

At IPBC 2008 after Philips, it was TomTom and then Microsoft turn to be on stage.

Peter Spours started TomTom IP department 1 year ago: he said that when he started there were simply no money for ip!

But with a fast growing company, they needed to have an ip portfolio. When TomTom went public everybody went to court for patent infringement (against them)… The company is still very small, so there is a very close group of chief officers, and all transactions on the table are always seen as ip transactions as well. This sounds important: it means that IP issues are seen as critical and always central for SME’s operating in high technology sector.  Mr Spours says that even though TomTom is only a 500 people company, taking care of the ip is a major challenge, as in this field everything moves so quickly that you cannot stop working and learning.

Here the mantra is: the only thing not changing is that everything changes.

Phelps (Microsoft) started in IBM ip department in 1992 and by 2001 turnover was around 2 billions dollars, with 90% profit. By doing venture capital he meet Microsoft. He asked for 300k investment, Bill Gates asked for him in return.

At that time Microsoft was without a proper IP organization. In 2002 Microsoft had only 3 crosslicensing agreements, now in 2008 it has 600. Phelps tells always to go and get related to other companies, go and relate to the world. Now at Microsoft they are filing 3k patents per year, and he is happy to be the only person in the world having worked as IP corporate officer for the 2 bigger monopolies on the planet! Microsoft is a particular ip corporation: they have only software and nothing else. So Phelps sees is job mainly as a business one, he sees his work as moving forward Microsoft business.

He  states also that no one company can today control the vertical cycle, everybody needs to collaborate.

So Phelps urges to build strong ip relationships with the people you are dealing with. He sees 3 important areas in the next 5 years:

  1. open innovation 
  2. new business model (you get the software you need for the time you want – saas
  3. combination of free software and commercial software

This combination of open attitude, globalisation and strong ip protection is very common among  ip officers. It is very clear to them (and to IP Faber also) that you need to cooperate with others in order to achieve big target, but at the same time you need to ensure you can defend your competitive advantage with the IP mean.

(IP Faber offers consultancy and services on Patent, Trademark and Copyright)

30 September, 2008

Meet the CIPO

Filed under: intellectual property, news — Tags: , , , — Enrico @ 9:30 am

Creative Commons License Photo credit: slworking2

Philips Christmas light

IP Faber had the opportunity to be present at the IPBC 2008 in Amsterdam.

It has been very interesting and somehow unexpected gathering.

The focus of the conference was not really on the main role of the CIPO (Chief Intellectual Property Officer) but on its powers and definition.

After all, the word “CIPO” has been invented only in 2004 and it is a very new professional entity!

So 5 people were invited to talk about their experience as CIPO. The first one has been Ruud Peters of Philips, a smallish company that sometimes takes newspapers headlines for some not very important  breakthrough inventions…

Ruud Peters says that Philips IP dept. is made up of 17 offices around the globe and some 500 people. The IP dept. was started in 1977. Ruud says that it is important to understand that if you work in IP for large companies you need to collaborate with other companies (I do believe the same applies to SMEs even more). Philips started to work in China in 2000 and then in India, now 40 people are already working in those countries. Peters says Philips is a global corporation also from this (IP centric) point of view and this sounds new to us: nobody has tried to talk about globalization from the IP department point of view.

In fact we think that this is a key point: in the knowledge era you cannot miss IP as one of the main drivers for development and innovation, so it would be rather interesting putting together a sort of “IP Globalization index“.

Peters sees the major challenge is expanding and enabling open innovation on one part and on the other part executing and doing things together with other companies: he’s right as knowledge monopoly managed through IP regulation could be opposite to open innovation!  And this will probably be one of the main task to accomplish in the next few decades.

(IP Faber thinks open innovation is a key factor in today business, contact us if you need further advice)

4 February, 2008

Grundig goes to Turkey?

Filed under: marchi, news, trademark — Tags: , , , — Enrico @ 2:49 pm

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Carst

A big Turkey group has bought the Grundig brand.

Once upon a time Grundig was one of the most succesful european electronics brand, well know for its televisions and radio players. German name, german quality, german product.

But markets are faster than history and Grundig lost its market and part of its strong brand during the nineties. Nowadays Grundig is no more than a empty box: no good products in the market, no potential good products in the pipeline, not even a project. So Grundig went on sale and has been aquired by a turkish group.

The old company is dead, but the brand lives.

Where is the deal? The brand is still memorable and strong among european consumers, and this could turn out to be a very successful deal for the buyer. As long as they are able to mass product new good electronics product, the brand Grundig remains a very strong selling element and  its persuasive german sound is a plus. Let’s see in 5 years time how it will develop, and then we will tell if the deal was good or bad. 

(IP Faber does IP, trademark and patents negotiations and agreements)

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