Challenges

IP awareness for startups – from reactive to proactive



Current Situation

The Netherlands Patent Office (OCNL) plays a role of informer towards startups and helps them to make better strategic decisions regarding their intellectual property (IP). Knowledge and understanding of how IP works and the opportunities it brings when handled properly is essential for this innovative growing target group. OCNL now faces the challenge of reaching startups in an appealing way at the right time of their innovation journey. Startups often come in too late to ask for support in making use of IP system, which has serious consequences: it may influence their business continuity and overall opportunities that they can pursue, it may cause damage to their business and limit startups’ options to act in the future.

 

Knowledge about the IP system ensures that startups can fully benefit from their own innovation. In addition, it leads to more efficient spending of R&D funds and can contribute to obtaining financing.

 

We need a new informative tool, solution or material about IP that appeals to and is easy to understand for startups and their innovation journey, aiming for better business decisions being made when:

 

  • startups are informed at an early stage (and in a positive way) about the benefits and opportunities of the IP system (i.e. exploitation possibilities and protective traits);
  • startups get the knowledge of the importance of patent information and how that can be exploited in making wiser business decisions.
  • startups know which IP organization they can turn to for questions or registrations on intellectual property regarding their product or service. OCNL is looking for a solution that provides insight into which IP rights, strategies and free IP databases (in which a lot of strategic information is stored) are needed / relevant in the phase of the innovation process where the startup is currently in.   OCNL currently coaches and participates in startup acceleration programs, providing workshops, one-on-one mentoring, use of ThatsIP and patent search databases (Espacenet). Since none of them really appeal to the innovative startup segment for example in tone of voice and look and feel. OCNL is not looking for another solution just like the existing ones.

What are we looking for?

OCNL is looking for a solution that provides insight into which IP rights, strategies and free IP databases (in which a lot of strategic information is stored) are needed / relevant in the phase of the innovation process where the startup is currently in.

Intellectual property is a difficult subject that entrepreneurs often have negative associations with, which is why the second part of the challenge is emphasizing its benefits at the right time – and in an appealing way.

 

An appropriate solution should be able to seamlessly find its way within the innovation process of the startup whenever they need IP information, presenting it in an engaging and easy-to-understand manner.

What are we not looking for?

OCNL currently coaches and participates in startup acceleration programs, providing workshops, one-on-one mentoring, use of ThatsIP and patent search databases (Espacenet). Since none of them really appeal to the innovative startup segment for example in tone of voice and look and feel. OCNL is not looking for another solution just like the existing ones.

 

 

 

What is the impact?

OCNL aims for greater awareness of the intellectual property system and the possibilities it brings to startups, assisting them in better deployment within their respective businesses. In addition, the project will result in better understanding on the startup journey, their business models and ways of working.

 

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