EU businesses support ‘open’ innovation and IP

Senior executives find R&D co-operation with other companies crucial for their firm’s innovation capacity and for maximising the value of their intellectual property (IP), acording to a recent survey.

“The challenge for European firms is to align their business and intellectual property (IP) strategies more closely. This involves building their IP portfolios to protect potential market opportunities around specific technologies, as well as collaborating with other organisations to make their innovation processes faster and more efficient,” indicate a recent survey of some 400 senior executives’ views and approach to EU firms’s intellectual property challenge

According to the survey, published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), executives no longer see IP merely as an R&D tool, but also as a business aid. They therefore emphasise the role of collaboration in boosting the value of intellectual property. The majority of those surveyed support the idea of a more open IP strategy and some 68% of them find increased R&D collaboration with other companies and organisations central to improving their own firms’ innovation.

“The creation of intellectual property is coming increasingly to rely on open innovation,” said the EIU’s Robin Bew. He believes that companies will have to take this into account in future when putting in place intellectual property strategies and aim “to strike the right balance between protecting and sharing their ideas”.

The survey also suggests that once the European Community Patent is in place, the EU companies will need greater legal harmonisation and the EU must pay more attention to harmonising local IP standards and practices to lower the cost of innovation.

As to the executives’ biggest threat concerning IP, China still tops the list, even if the respondents trust that the country’s IP regime will improve soon.

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