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Finnish companies losing expertise in technology and brand know-how
Helsinki, Finland – According to a new start-up report, the understanding of industrial property rights in newly founded companies is insufficient. Additionaly, their IPR strategy is not always integrated with the business strategy. Education about industrial property rights should be increased and IPR counceling should be improved.
”Unfortunately, the results of this report confirm our impression that industrial property rights are poorly known in start-ups. They are often applied unsystematically and without proper skills”, said Markku Simmelvuo, Managing Director, Papula-Nevinpat. ”Finnish companies are losing technology and brand know-how because they make mistakes due to lack of knowledge. In addition, financial institutions see industrial property rights as an important factor. They provide something concrete, a promise of a bright future for the company. Know-how alone is not enough; the company should also have a technical lead and industrial property rights are a good insurance tool. Also, in the early phases of the business, the importance of industrial property rights for the company’s business strategy is often underestimated.”
According to the report, industrial property rights terminology was not known very well. To be able to properly manage IPR matters, the start-ups should understand the basic terms. Generally, IPR were often perceived simply as a patent. It is not commonly understood that this category also includes copyright, domain names, trademarks etc. And even if the IPR matters were known in theory, there is not much understanding of how they can be utilized in business. In the world of IPR, you learn by experience, yet often the hard way.
The knowledge of how to systematically manage IPR issues should be promoted in companies. A company has the options of employing experienced staff or acquiring the expertise externally. However, it may be impossible for a start-up to hire an experienced specialist, so the outside expertise remains the only option. The availability of IPR specialists is good, but their competence varies. To improve the IPR knowledge in companies, an IPR handbook has been published today. The handbook is based on an ideal model of how to handle IPR matters in a start-up.
The project was led by Jari Handelberg, Reseach Director, and the researchers were Pertti Kiuru and Mervi Rajahonka from the Small Business Center at the Aalto University School of Economics. The study was based on a literature analysis, on interviews with IPR specialists and company representatives, and on an extensive questionnaire for the participating companies. The study and the IPR handbook can be read at Papula-Nevinpat website www.papula-nevinpat.com.
Papula-Nevinpat and the Aalto Start-Up Center began cooperation earlier this year. Papula-Nevinpat offers its vast know-how in IPR matters for the start-up center businesses. Furthermore, Papula-Nevinpat’s experts provide IPR training and counseling in events arranged by Aalto Start-Up Center.
What are intellectual property rights?
Intellectual property rights (IPR) are immaterial rights, which have generally been divided into two main areas: industrial property rights and copyrights. The term industrial property rights is used for exclusive rights for protecting inventions, marks used as symbols of goods and services, or for example a model of the appearance of an article. Industrial property rights include patents, utility models, design rights, trademarks, company names and some other, more rarely used, forms of protection.
Papula-Nevinpat is a globally recognized patent, trademark and design agency. In addition to our Finland-based global operations, Papula-Nevinpat has a strong foothold in the Eurasian territory with local offices in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Our attorneys will help you secure your exclusive rights anywhere in the world.
Markku Simmelvuo, Managing Director
Tel. +358 40 545 4484
Marika Kojo, Communications Manager
Tel. +358 400 816 384