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On March 13, 2018 the 3rd „I3PM meets Academia” conference took place in cooperation with the Technical University Ingolstadt.


Some participants already met the evening before for an informal dinner in a typical Bavarian restaurant in the city center.

Prof. Dr. Martin Bader, head of the “Center of Entrepreneurship”, hosted the conference titled “IP Management challenges in entrepreneurial environments” in the retail lab of the University.

This turned out to be a perfect location with a kind of startup atmosphere for the morning sessions of the conference which addressed IP Management issues for startups. The afternoon was dedicated to issues arising in corporate entrepreneurship. High quality presentations were presented by high profile speakers during the day ending with a final panel discussion with all speakers.

After a short welcome by Prof. Schober, the President of the University, revealing some interesting details about the history of Ingolstadt and the university, and an introduction into the conference theme given by Prof. Martin Bader and Peter Bittner (Chairman of the I3PM Advisory Board), the morning session started with a keynote presentation given by Prof. Yann Méničre, Chief Economist of the EPO with the title “IP Management and Start-Ups".

Yann gave interesting insights into statistical figures for SMEs/Startups in IPR intensive industries and showed numerous case study examples showing the strategic use of IP for startups in different industries.

Alexis Martin from the INPI Alsace presented the INPI approach to increase IP awareness in French startups in his talk “Are startups IP-compatible - A feedback from the French PTO”. With a four stage program, starting with company visits at selected companies, followed by IP Prediagnostics, leading into helping companies to apply the recommendations (IP Pass), and ending with 6 days IP Master Class program INPI is getting many startups up to speed in IP Management.

A particular startup case was presented by Dr. Christoph Feest – Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies and Dr. Giulia Solinas (who has just moved from the University of Liverpool to LMU Munich). Their talk on “Challenges for startups in the cell and gene therapy sector” illustrated the huge IP problems which arise if the product in the end is the entire process of CAR-T cell therapy. The big challenge for the startup is to cover all phases of this process. Also licensing agreements around the IP in combination with a long initial trade secret phase impose additional IP Management challenges on the startup.


Dr. Ludwig Witter from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology illustrated all kinds of IP issues which arise for a University when founding startups based on research results of the University. A critical aspect regarding the “IP MANAGEMENT OF STARTUPS FROM A UNIVERSITY” when deciding for which innovations IP assets should be built is the so-called technology readiness of the innovation. As the university intends to file IP rights for commercialization there needs to be a short term licensing opportunity which requires a technology readiness level of at least 5. A university seems to be at the border between startup problems and corporate problems with regards to the IP Management issues.

The final contribution in the morning session on startups came from Dr. Philipp Rittershaus, Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds Management discussing “IP management challenges from an investor´s and startup partners perspective”. For approximately 50% of the portfolio companies of High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) valid patents are essential. HTGF is primarily active in the seed phase and sees problems primarily with regards to elder IP (filed at the beginning of research), suboptimal filing strategies (e.g. Hardware vs Biotech), small coverage (scope of protection and geographic spread), often rather weak process patents, early ramp up of fees and suboptimal licensing agreements.

The breaks were heavily used for networking amongst the participants and speakers.

The corporate entrepreneurship afternoon session started with the key note presentation “From invention to innovation – IP funds and their role in the exploitation of IP“ by Dr. Svenja Jarchow Managing Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies TUM. The analyzed IP venturing funds act as active business builders. Two investment styles were identified: technology-driven investment style using university inventions as starting point, and opportunity-driven investment style identifying undervalued IP assets from many sources, (e.g. small or large corporations, individual inventor) to increase value.

Dr. Alissa Zeller, Vice President Global Intellectual Property BASF SE, continued with a discussion on “Start-up entities as part of a multinational company from an IP perspective”. Traditional stage gate processes are not suitable for managing agile innovation environments as used for entrepreneurial innovation cells within corporates. The various entrepreneurial organizational structures within corporates require very different attorney profiles for appropriate IP support ranging from experienced, diligent with time to work out perfect details to a flexible, entrepreneurial tech freak.

The I3PM Secretary General Ulf G. Schaberg – AO Foundation illustrated IP Management issues in a foundation (non-profit corporate structure). In his talk “An IPM blind spot in (Corporate) Entrepreneurship?” he discussed the use of business model canvas as a tool to implement an IP strategy as an integral part of corporate strategy. A win-win scenario for corporate entrepreneurship brings together corporate reach, expertise in the field, expert network, development experience, development capabilities, etc. with entrepreneurial mindset, new ideas and innovations, new approaches, new business models, new strategies, etc. By the way, if you are a passionate skier, this slide deck may be a bit terrifying.

The final presentation on “Corporate Innovation Management dealing with Start-ups” was given by Dr. Rudolf Freytag, CEO, Siemens Technology Accelerator – Siemens Next47. New business models in the internet age are disrupting complete markets. A “value driven IP strategy” is needed to master the digital transformation ahead of many businesses. IP assets need to be evaluated in view of the business strategy to generate value. In the end, the IP strategy should perceive startups as important for the corporate and also make the corporate attractive for startups. The session was closed with a quote of Werner von Siemens: “"Ideas alone have little value. An invention´s importance lies in its practical implementation, in the intellectual work extended on it, and in the labor and money spent on it."

Stay tuned on www.i3pm.org to not miss the announcement of next year’s “I3PM meets Academia” conference.

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