European IP professionals struggle with getting value for money from IP management services and technology, according to NovumIP research
The latest set of results from NovumIP's industry research reveals the biggest challenges (aside from the pandemic) currently facing European IP professionals, as well as which areas they feel need greater investment moving forwards.
NovumIP, the global IP service provider, has today released the latest findings from its ‘IP Industry Outlook 2021’ report, for which it surveyed over 500 IP professionals across the globe. Having launched the report by focusing on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on IP departments and law firms, this next set of results reveal the biggest challenges (aside from the pandemic) currently facing European IP professionals, as well as which areas they feel need greater investment moving forwards.
- 74% of those surveyed in Europe are not satisfied with their current technology systems.
- The number one investment area for European IP professionals is IP advisory/strategic services.
- More than four in ten French respondents and a quarter of British and German respondents struggle to find the right services and suppliers.
What are the main challenges currently faced by European IP departments?
One of biggest pain points for IP departments according to the research is the ‘total cost of IP management and ownership’, which was not only the number one challenge globally, but also topped the list for French and UK respondents. ‘Remote working/access to technology’ was one of the top three challenges faced by both UK and German firms, while ‘finding the right services or suppliers’ was a common hurdle shared by the German and French IP professionals.
Lutgarde Liezenberg, CEO of Novagraaf, a NovumIP company, comments:
“IP owners and their advisers are being challenged to achieve more with less, impacting both IP strategy and execution. As an industry, we need to provide in-house departments and law firms with more efficient and innovative ways of delivering both IP advice and managing routine administrative tasks, including more effective use of technology and tools, and a joined-up and holistic approach to the delivery of end-to-end IP services.”
Inflexible IP management technologies are causing additional frustrations
The technology systems used by IP departments have been at the centre of much discussion in recent years, as IP professionals struggle with inflexible legacy systems or lack of customisation.
At least seven in ten IP professionals in the UK (70%), Germany (73%) and France (79%) are not satisfied with their current technology systems, according to NovumIP’s research. Outdated technology was a problem for a quarter of German respondents and more than four in ten for both British and French respondents. Being locked into long-term use of outdated systems was also cited as an issue by 34% in the UK, 25% in Germany, 47% in France.
A modular approach to technology is desired by around a quarter of European IP professionals (27% UK, 25% Germany, 28% France).
European IP professionals agree on most important investment areas for 2021
In the global survey, respondents were also asked about priority areas for investment of time or money moving forwards: ‘IP advisory/strategic services’, ‘centralisation of data or services’ and ‘competitive benchmarking/portfolio audits’ were the three most common answers among respondents in the UK, France and Germany.
However, it’s clear from looking at the global dataset that priorities differ between roles. Globally, ‘data-driven decision making’ was the top priority for Legal Directors & Heads of Legal and Patent & Trademark Attorneys, but featured much further down the list of other respondents. Similarly, R&D Managers voted ‘centralisation of data/services’ as their top area for investment, but for Paralegal & Administrators and Patent & Trademark Attorneys it was at the bottom of the list.
“While the challenges that have emerged from our research are by no means easily addressed, we believe we can make major strides in 2021 to achieve a more efficient and productive IP ecosystem.” continues Liezenberg. “In our vision for the future of IP services, smart technology is employed not only to speed up manual processes, but also to centralise data in order to help IP owners to derive the insights they need to maximise their IP. As we look to recover from the effects of the pandemic, supporting IP owners with flexible tools, tailored strategic guidance and a collaborative approach will be key.”
Survey responses were collected from over 500 IP professionals across the UK, France, Germany, China and the US between October and December 2020, representing a variety of industries, companies and IP roles. The results of this research have been captured in the report, which shines a light on the topics that matter most to IP owners, including key areas of investment, the biggest challenges and opportunities for IP departments, the implications of recent consolidation, and benchmarking of budgets and future priorities, amongst others.
For more information and to download ‘IP Industry Outlook 2021: A NovumIP research report’, please sign up here.
NovumIP is an integrated, global IP provider that was formed in December 2019 as a joint venture by leading IP specialists Novagraaf and PAVIS. Drawing upon more than 380 IP specialists across 19 offices in Europe, the US, China and Japan, NovumIP combines business-focused consulting with tech-enabled services to help clients to achieve their strategic goals. Our modular 'smart IP solutions' extend across the complete life cycle of patent, trademark, design and associated IP rights, including legal & consulting services, online brand protection, patent annuities, EP validations and trademark renewals, as well as flexible IP management technologies and data management solutions. By combining legal expertise with highly efficient IP solutions, NovumIP informs and facilitates critical decisions that increase and protect IP value.