You are on page 1of 8

sPArKiNg iNNoVAtioN iN r&d dePArtmeNts

ANd mANAgiNg treBLe dAmAges risK
BoB stemBridge

the “innovation process is a funnel where less than 1% of them actually make it to the customers. in addition. the protection of innovation through iP rights. for a set term. thE innovAtion ProcEss the innovation process depends on the generation of new ideas. Fast Innovation: Achieving Superior Whether your organization subscribes to the traditional or the open model of innovation. technical innovation in particular is critical to the development of new and improved products that help successful businesses achieve competitive advantage. 2009. ProtEction of innovAtion the protection of innovation through iP rights is the foundation on which the modern patent system is built. Unilever. which involves taking advantage of resources and expertise beyond that which resides in your organization. the inventor is afforded the right to exclude others from practicing or otherwise exploiting the invention without permission. companies cannot afford to rely entirely on their own research and creative brainpower. 78% of companies don’t have an innovation system.asp. Nevertheless. Biotechnology Industry Organization. that is why 88% of ideas fail to make it to market. 1.g. points out: “even though 87% of Ceos list innovation as a top 5 priority. the most successful companies recognize that rebuilding revenue growth will be based on the quality and effectiveness of their innovation process. more than 25% of this year’s revenue is for products and services that did not exist three years ago1. http://www. research. http://www. product life-cycles are growing ever shorter. collaboration and evaluation.”2 Add to this the disappointing fact that the innovation process is really not understood by many corporate executives. 2010. . especially patents the collaboration and sharing of information We will examine the impact of these on the innovation process. For the majority of companies. 3. and glaxosmithKline are embracing.”3 this is coupled with the recent trend toward the decentralization of research. “What is the purpose of a patent?”. it comprises a cyclical sequence of brainstorming. it relies on two essential criteria for success: 1. through licensing. 2. Speed to Market. As the world begins to recover from the ravages of the recent recession.. but the technical innovation on which new products and services is built traditionally resides in the r&d function. which provides a reward or incentive to the inventor in exchange for his/her sharing of knowledge.examiner. despite the many brilliant ideas an organization may generate. Whirlpool. Business Modalities. in return for which s/he must describe the invention in sufficient detail for any one skilled in the art to be able to reproduce it.”4 As is well known. r&d is a critical factor. 2. innovation can occur across all areas of a October 24. George. but should instead buy or license processes or inventions from other companies. Michael L. joint ventures and spin offs). in a world of widely distributed knowledge.wordpress. http://bizmodal. the central idea behind open innovation is that. moreover. April 29. 4.PAGE 2: sPArkinG innovAtion in r&d dEPArtmEnts introduction innovation is a key business driver. this can be a scary thought for some. it is a real phenomenon and one which organizations like P&g. “the patent system has two basic purposes: to promote the advancement of technology and to protect the inventor. this system is a contract between the state and the internal inventions not being used in a firm’s business should be taken outside the company (e. a detroit technology examiner. once the term has ended. and Increased Profitability. As mark Proffitt. termed “open innovation”.

scientific articles. the beauty of collaboration is that it provides an environment for real-time revision tracking and provides alerts to content changes . Section II: “The uniqueness of patents as a technological resource”. and patents are the best source of the latest ideas in an area. including documents. 2007.” Kurt Johnson.6 As the innovation process is driven by the generation and sharing of ideas in a technical field.empowering business users to work together in previously unforeseen ways. bringing them to market more quickly and helping meet customer demands sooner. 8th USPTO Technology Assessment and Forecast Report. Up to 80% of technology described in patents is not disclosed anywhere else. USPTO 1977. component of the innovation process is the ability for those involved in it to be able to collaborate with one another.5 the ready availability of a vast body of technical information contained in patents across all technologies in turn drives the innovation process through stimulation of ideas and development of methods for improvement over what has been described before. this sharing and collaborating will speed the innovation process and help organizations develop new solutions to existing problems. Managing the Risk of Collaboration Tools. collAborAtion And shArinG of informAtion Collaboration is all about groups of people working on and sharing common content. and news information.PAGE 3: sPArkinG innovAtion in r&d dEPArtmEnts the description of the invention is made publicly available so that others can benefit from that knowledge. business data. regardless of where they are located and whether they are internal to the organization or part of an open innovation initiative. and share it with fellow research professionals. 6. incentivized by the reward of exclusive rights over the new invention. . July 30. data. it is these documents that form the richest and most valuable source of technical information available. 5. this latter point gives rise to published patent documents. and discussion forums. including patents. real time. the second critical engineers and r&d professionals must be able to access relevant information within their areas of interest.

review and interpret key commercial and technical information as well as easily understand the latest technology protected by their own organization. We recognize that information only has value if it’s used and that value depends on the user’s ability to access information in context. it ensures that collaboration between colleagues is simplified. rather.PAGE 4: sPArkinG innovAtion in r&d dEPArtmEnts the implementation of this is best achieved through an integrated information search and delivery system that provides the relevant information to users across the organization. a court is permitted to triple the amount of damages awarded as a punitive measure which recognizes the willful nature of the prohibited act. suggests that the use of a collaborative content 7. rothstein & ebenstein LLP. Under Us patent law. delivery of patent and associated information to users across the organization allows effective monitoring of the iP portfolio and competitive landscape. while providing the relevant information an organization needs to make informed decisions that support its iP and business strategies. iP and strategic planning to work together. . partner. business intelligence. Business Week article. one of the world’s most innovative companies according to a Business Week article7. Charles macedo. lEGAl considErAtions the benefits of implementing an integrated information solution need to be considered alongside legal considerations such as the question of liability for treble damages in the case of willful infringement. in cases where a defendant is found to have acted willfully in a prohibited way. Users in global locations can easily and securely share. Amster. the question is to what extent having a system that allows sharing of information around an organization implies that members of that organization would be deemed to have prior knowledge of a piece of infringing information in the case that proceedings are brought. With global access. April 24. 3m has therefore invested in systems to facilitate searching and sharing of results to deliver targeted information to researchers and engineers in order to keep them fully abreast of developments within their technical fields. and let’s them manage their innovation process regardless of which department or time zone they are in. “The World’s Most Innovative Companies”. there are wider benefits also in sharing information across the organization. 2006. and author of The Corporate Insiders Guide to US Patent Practice. such a system is not just a data delivery platform. senior technical information Analyst Carol Bachmann recognizes the benefit of sharing information across the r&d organization to support innovation. an integrated information system makes it easier for the various business areas such as r&d. this helps to focus research on areas of commercial and competitive interest to 3m”. At 3m. “researchers within 3m are mandated to know the prior art.

employees just need to be trained as to what is appropriate within the system. 8. are little more than a casual unrecorded chat. Have executive management support for the collaboration initiative Communicate the goals of the program to the entire organization. With any of these tools.PAGE 5: sPArkinG innovAtion in r&d dEPArtmEnts management system for communicating and innovating is no different than using email and other tools that have been in practice for many years. education is critical in planning for an information governance environment that supports the needs of the organization.” therefore. . 2. thereby speeding the innovation process. relinquish collaborative privileges to those who do not comply with the rules 9. and the knowledge workers who are the powerhouse of the business process. companies need to train their people on what is appropriate to comment on and set guidelines for inter-corporate language.” Noel Rath. technology management and system administrators. 4. Archive collaborative data for a specified length of time agreed on by management Collaborative tools are an enabling technology that. it is recommended that categorization of information using strictly controlled terms is the best way to balance the value of sharing information among users without incurring the risk of being judged to have knowingly infringed another’s patent. March 23.” mr. develop a taxonomy of acceptable and unacceptable terms for use when commenting within the system Assign a select number of senior technical staff to monitor the use of the system 7. including technology and legal. should that situation ever arise. there can be ‘idle chatter’ and. when used without records management processes and systems in place. 8. just as should be the case with email and texting. the following strategies are essential to the successful implementation of collaborative systems: 1. 5. 2010. as such. Provide regular reports to executive management on the progress being made 10. “8 Ways to Make Sure that Collaboration Adds Business Value. “these vehicles can enhance collaboration and communication. to ensure you have the systems and processes in place to support your collaborative objectives 6.8 3. “Collaboration systems are no more likely to result in treble damages than email is. even to employees not yet involved in a collaborative group educate employees on the rules of engagement Clearly identify the members of each group and what their responsibilities are engage multiple departments. macedo goes on to say that the benefits can outweigh the risks by increasing efficiencies. this means education of executive management who will understand governance and risk.

business data and news with search. this includes saved searches & alerts. the patent information within thomson innovation provides access to titles and abstracts translated into english from the many different languages of the source patent documents. including english translations of Japanese. watched records. collaboration and alerting tools in a robust platform. annotation and attachment capabilities. options are also provided to set permissions for items to read only or read and annotate. . search histories. He pointed out that “although it may not be a crime not to innovate. ensuring that all researchers involved in the innovation process are fully updated with the latest available information has one further benefit – it avoids the danger of wasting the organization’s precious time and resources by repeating research already conducted elsewhere. hierarchical folders. India Dec 2009. All saved work items can be shared. integrated solution that combines patent. patent landscaping maps (themescape maps) and text cluster analyses. in a talk at the sis Conference 2009 in Pune.9 9. this information can be searched by a combination of key terms. alluded to the importance of widespread access to patents information in the innovation process. thomson innovation is a single. support for sharing objects and folders. Up to 60. together with full text and legal status information from a number of patent authorities. “Patinformatics For Strategic Technology Management”. charts. scientific literature. analytic.PAGE 6: sPArkinG innovAtion in r&d dEPArtmEnts imPlEmEntAtion one proven collaboration system is thomson innovation. ability to search objects and folders. dr. Chinese and Korean information. it is a crime to re-invent the wheel”. ganguli. P. SIS Conference Pune. sharing lets you collaborate with colleagues on your research. subscriptions to alerts or watched records and personalization tools. citation maps. india. Dr P Ganguli. company and inventor names and various classification and indexing systems to provide precise retrieval of relevant information that can then be easily shared with colleagues using built-in workflow solutions.000 patent records can be added to a shared work file. these include the ability to save by objects and work files. Ceo of Vision-iPr.

About thE Author bob stembridge thomson reuters iP solutions customer relations manager Bob stembridge graduated from University of sussex. shorten your time to market and enhance market share and revenue stream.stembridge@thomsonreuters. UK with an Honours degree in Chemistry. He joined derwent (one of the founding components of the iP solutions business of thomson reuters) in 1980 and has held various roles in editorial. CiLiP and PiUg. this allows you to discover new ideas for research. and license more 7: sPArkinG innovAtion in r&d dEPArtmEnts conclusion innovation requires creativity which is built on access to relevant information and the ability to share and discuss that information among colleagues. create. lower your r&d costs. Providing an integrated information system with workflow tools to share information among users throughout your organization contributes to a streamlined workflow. For more information on how to speed your innovation process. marketing. he returned to thomson reuters in 1996 and most recently became Customer relations manager with responsibility for liaison with customer user groups for the organization. thereby turning ideas into a profit-making reality. and better business processes. contact Bob stembridge at: bob. . so you can compete. improved collaboration. stembridge is a member of ACs. and is secretary of CePiUg and current Chair of PAtmg. mr. He currently serves on the CsA trust Board of trustees to which he was elected in February 2007. discover. sales and product development over the years. Leaving in 1988 for interludes working as senior information Analyst specializing in patent analytics at British Petroleum and european sales Liaison with dialog. innovate.

With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and eagan. healthcare and media markets. For more information. scientific. thomson reuters employs more than 50. go to ip.000 people in more than 100 countries. go to thomsonreuters.ABoUt tHomsoN reUters thomson reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. contact: Americas +1 800 333 4656 +1 651 244 5375 Europe. to find out more about iP solutions from thomson reuters. middle Copyright © 2010 thomson reuters . We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial. powered by the world’s most trusted news organization. Africa +44 20 7433 4000 Asia-Pacific +65 6775 5088 (singapore) +81 3 5218 6500 (tokyo) ip.thomsonreuters. tax and accounting. legal.