top of page


intellectual property strategies

Strategic objectives determine the use and effect of intellectual property rights in everyday business. A prime example of a strategic approach to intellectual property is provided by Japanese business, which for its part has analyzed the actions of others in this area as well as in many technical areas and has drawn lessons for its own actions from this. If every inventor did his homework here, many a good invention could certainly be commercially exploited that has disappeared from the scene due to a lack of commercial purpose.

The main function of property rights is the granting of exclusive rights to exploitable, technical or creative inventions. The other functions also include functions such as attack, protection, motivation, reputation or the financial function, which individually or jointly help to secure the exploitation of property rights. The registration strategy is also important, namely what, when, how and where is registered.


hedging / tactics


reputation and funding

login strategy

Protection against intellectual property rights

patent analysis



The attack function includes the acquisition of strong intellectual property rights in new technical areas. This keeps competing companies away from new technology, and their own position is secured and expanded. With such a powerful weapon, a company can license and license back new technologies that are not accessible to its own company without its own basic patent. The protective right becomes an object of exchange.

If the property right holder succeeds in making his patent the technical standard at the same time, economic success will usually also follow (example: VHS system). There are ways and means to achieve this as well. If, for example, you have made an invention in an environmentally interesting area that enables you to save energy or avoid using environmentally harmful substances, you can also contact environmental parties or associations that can politically promote public acceptance and later contribute to a corresponding standard is created. When it comes to safety-related matters, insurance can lead to success

Protection / Tactics

Absicherung/ Taktik

Building a secure position includes filing intellectual property rights in a timely manner, ensuring that all aspects of a product, process or intermediate are covered, as well as filing subsequent applications. A constant technology check helps to detect your own gaps as well as those of others.

To protect a basic patent, a network of patents is stretched around it, for example, to protect the actual invention against circumventing forms or to cover new applications. If the competition has the basic patent, such a network can prevent it from using its invention appropriately. Your own network can be strengthened by purchased patents or license agreements.

The 18 months between registration and disclosure are an advantage for the network owner. Parts of the network can be thrown into the balance in the event of disputes in order to maintain the peace through cross-licensing and to secure access to a new technology.


Reputation und Finanzierung

Patents can be used in the human resources area so that employees identify more strongly with their company. If an employee or a quality circle has presented a development that the company has led to a property right, the employee recognizes that his suggestions are being taken seriously. If it is a technical property right (patent or utility model), the inventor is even entitled to separate remuneration under the Employee Inventions Act, the so-called inventor's remuneration (EVG).

reputation and funding

It is not only in the case of start-ups that intellectual property rights indicate a company's technological strength or a positive attitude towards research and technology in the public assessment. This is an advantage both when acquiring orders and when it comes to creditworthiness, if the value of the property rights can be conveyed to the bank or venture capitalist, for example as part of a business plan. If the intellectual property right can be implemented in a product during its term, the market position of the company and/or its brand will be strengthened. This often has the automatic consequence that the success of a company increases. Through the licensing or transfer of property rights, possibly in connection with joint ventures or franchise agreements, property rights can represent significant sources of income and strengthen the company's position.

login strategy


All of the aforementioned functions of property rights fail if the applicant is not clear about what, when, how and where the application is being filed. To this end, the company should have a decision-maker independent of the inventor. Before registering, the horizon of expectations for the property rights should be clear. Should you form a new mainstay for a large company or open the doors to a company founder. An imprecise or too broadly set goal only leads to a result that does not match expectations and causes avoidable costs

Once the goal is set, it needs to be clarified how to acquire intellectual property. With the exception of accidental patentable discoveries, intellectual property is mostly created through targeted development using creative techniques. The inventor is bothered by recurring problems, initially questions everything or looks for better, cheaper alternatives. Competition or other protective rights can also force him to develop suitable forms of circumvention in order to retain a competitive advantage. In most cases, one component alone is not enough to protect an entire development, so that the inventor's far-sightedness is required to identify the right solution approaches and the focal points of his own development. What provides a competitive advantage, a question that the inventor should keep asking himself throughout the granting process and in fact with regard to every aspect of his desired protection.

In-house development is generally to be given preference over third-party developments, since it is in your own hands when you announce what to whom, although the effort required for this should not be underestimated. Experience shows that this helps to identify the right time to register. On the one hand, to secure seniority, you have to register as early as possible. On the other hand, if a development is registered too early, it may not yet be mature, so that your own development may lead out of the scope of protection of your own application, but it can no longer be protected because your own hasty filing is now opposed to it.

If you have an idea, especially in a new area, you should take a look at the publicly available developments of the competition. Looking at this after the idea has been presented initially keeps the inventor from thinking in a similar way to the competition, but at this point in time this look also helps to recognize what one's own development is actually worth, possibly saves developments in the wrong direction and, last but not least, protects against an intervention in any existing rights of third parties. These rights and the prior art can be tracked down and evaluated using the patent classification system and the public patent information centers. Printed publications are just as helpful here as online services.

Sometimes it is better not to register an invention. Every owner of intellectual property rights buys the exclusive right by disclosing his intellectual property and sooner or later this will be published. It can therefore make sense to keep developments that the competition cannot readily analyze as trade secrets in order to gain competitive advantages. A balance must therefore be struck between the publication associated with the filing and the right to be able to prohibit or withhold others from using the property right.

If these questions have been answered satisfactorily and the search has revealed the basic protectability, the question of "Where to register?" arises. This depends on the field of invention, the interests of the company now and in the future, planned expansions and also economic considerations. Hardly anyone needs a worldwide intellectual property right. Because if the most important markets and/or locations of the competitors are occupied, the competition has hardly any areas of use that are not protected by intellectual property rights and, above all, that are profitable for the competition. It can be decisive where marketing advantages can be achieved, where a competitor can be slowed down or where growth opportunities can be identified

Protection against intellectual property rights


In addition to the ongoing observation of the technological development of the competition and the protection of its developments aimed at by the latter, the strategic approach also includes action against the rights of third parties. The documentation of own developments and deliveries mentioned in the previous chapters is important in order to be able to prove at least one's own obvious state of the art. Equally important, however, is the decision as to whether an objection is to be raised against every patent or only against selected property rights. Here, too, one should concentrate on the essentials. Sometimes it can be advantageous, instead of an objection or a defense against such, to contact the other party, for example to obtain a free right of joint use or, by mutual agreement, to at least deny third parties access to the market through the property right that this function after the cessation could no longer do justice as a result of the procedure.

patent analysis


The evaluation of patent data and its linking to economic data is becoming increasingly important for the exploitation of intellectual property rights. Patent data can be used, for example, to gain an overview of the development status, the development direction of a specific specialist area or the status of a product cycle. Competitors or newcomers can be identified. One possibility for this is the so-called patent citation analysis, in which, starting from a document, research is carried out into which protective rights this protective right was opposed to or what was opposed to this protective right. If you do the same for the intellectual property rights determined in this way, you can gain an overview of the market. Licensing options for one's own property right can thus also be identified on the basis of the areas of application determined in this way, as well as possible infringers. Depending on the patent portfolio, however, this task is very extensive and cannot be solved without specialist knowledge.

bottom of page