How companies use intellectual property plays a key role in their ability to innovate and grow. The analysis provides lessons for public policy.
Intellectual property (IP) plays a key role in the ability to innovate and in competitiveness issues. However, in view of indicators such as patent registrations, France's position in this area roughly reflects its position in research and innovation.
However, there is a significant need for improvement on these issues. For while, for our country, large groups rank favourably in this type of international ranking, this is generally not the case for smaller companies. Beyond that, we must question not only the creation of new IP rights but also, and above all, the way in which companies use them.
This analysis, which is based largely on a study commissioned from Winnove, both refines the findings and provides lessons for public policy.
It shows that in France, companies seeking to protect and enhance the value of their intellectual assets use a variable range of instruments and strategies, depending on their size and sector of activity. Overall, however, patents undeniably concentrate the most economic stakes.
In this respect, while companies continue to use IP rights mainly for defensive purposes, they are also increasingly using them in a complementary way for other purposes: to innovate in partnership (cooperation strategy), to pre-empt certain markets (movement strategy) or to collect royalties (licensing strategy).
However, industrial property is still considered by most companies as a cost item. Its role as a valuable asset remains insufficiently recognized. As a result, the strategic dimension of IP deserves to be more widely integrated by companies. However, they still need to be able to rely on sufficiently qualified personnel in this area, which requires specific skills not only in legal and technical terms but also in managerial terms.
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Finally, the analysis makes it possible to specify a series of expectations that companies have of the public authorities, on subjects such as the imminent introduction of the European unitary patent, relations with public research bodies, how to prevent and deal with litigation, or the role of France Brevets, the public patent investment and valorisation fund created in 2011.
Read The management and use of intellectual property by French companies (2013). Study carried out by Winnove for the Commissariat Général à la Stratégie et à la Prospective (General Commission for Strategy and Foresight)
(Source: Commissariat Général à la stratégie et à la prospective - March 19, 2014)