The Strategic Triangle
 IP-Department
 Background







SYNERGON offers everything from strategic advice to management of patent and trade mark portfolios. We can either be retained for short engagements, specific tasks, or for monitoring and managing projects throughout their entire life-cycle. Our focus is protection of business-oriented IP at the best possible price for your company!

 

THE STRATEGIC TRIANGLE

SYNERGON’s focus is business-oriented IP and, for example, providing hands-on support for our customers in relation to strategic IP questions and managing IP matters. Our work is strongly influenced by the so-called Strategic Triangle that we have developed and make use of to illustrate and emphasize the relationship between markets, technology, IP and regulatory aspects when performing strategic planning, as well as in the everyday work. It illustrates the importance of combining the former four areas in seeing the big picture.

Our bottom line is that IP questions are all about protecting current and future business opportunities, by harnessing the power of IP portfolios i.e. it is not about protecting a new technology or invention in its own right. As such, it becomes highly important to consider IP questions and technology in light of market needs. The reverse situation, where the market needs and IP knowledge may drive technology development into new territories, could also generate or strengthen opportunities for protection of business-oriented IP.

 

 

 

IP-DEPARTMENT

SYNERGON offers qualified, strategic IP advice with a focus on business-oriented IP at the lowest possible price.

SYNERGON assumes a big picture perspective in relation to IP and business within the areas of Life Sciences, biotechnology and IT. We work independent of, but collaboratively with, patent attorneys as your qualified IP-department for hire, for shorter or longer term engagements.

Our goal is to offer the best business solution to the best possible price and with minimal risk.

 

OUR BACKGROUND

 

SYNERGON was founded in 2003 by Bo Möllstam and Marianne Möllstam, whom each have more than 20 years of experience, working in the field of IP in Biotech companies, both in Sweden and internationally.

Our head office is located 20 minutes from the city of Gothenburg, but we also have an office in Stockholm (Solna), right next to the Karolinska Institute. We have an extensive network of partners both in Sweden and abroad.

SYNERGON offers everything from strategic advice and a decision base for IP matters to practical management of patents and trade marks. We can either perform shorter engagements, specific tasks, or monitor and manage the entire process throughout its life-cycle.

Our focus is patent protection of business-oriented IP to the best possible price for your company!

We have strong ethics and values and work under non-disclosure agreements. We further check for conflicts-of-interest before we accept new projects and clients. We have long standing relationships with patent attorneys globally and can help you find the most suitable option for your needs.

 

FAQ

 

What kind of company is SYNERGON?

Briefly, SYNERGON can be referred to as an IP- or patent-department for hire, for limited engagements or continuous service. We are an efficient and cost effective alternative to hiring the competencies needed for an in-house IP-department. SYNERGON thus offers an outsourced, but integrated, solution in relation to IP matters, with the requisite knowledge and competencies needed to perform strategic and value creating activities stemming from IP rights.

We believe that IP matters are far too important to be left with technical specialists, that do not fully understand the customer’s business strategy. As such, SYNERGON offers a solution where we are integrated with the company and its business agenda, providing support and practical management of IP matters, but where the company maintains full control of their IP rights.

SYNERGON’s focus is on business-oriented IP and we use the Strategic Triangle as a starting point. Our values include that IP questions are all about protecting a commercially relevant product, e.g., not about protecting a new technical solution. As such it becomes important to consider IP questions and technology in light of market needs. The reverse situation, where the needs of the market and knowledge of IP drive technology development into new territories, may also create opportunities for protection of business-oriented IP.

Just like an in-house, company IP-department SYNERGON uses national and international patent attorneys, suitable for the customer’s needs. SYNERGON works closely with, but independently of patent attorneys. This means that we are free to choose patent attorneys that are the best fit for our customers and projects, taking into consideration both competencies and costs.

 

What do we mean with business-oriented IP?

IP (patents) should be used to protect the potential or ongoing business, i.e. not an interesting technology for the sake of it. In a crude way you could say that IP is meant to protect something that you can make money off. This means that we have a strong focus on the business when we discuss and handle IP rights.

 

How does SYNERGON differ from patent attorney firms?

SYNERGON has extensive knowledge and experience working with IP matters to support commercial ventures. We work closely with the customer to gain an understanding of the customer’s business strategy and we strive to establish long term relationships with our customers to help preserve and exploit the value IP may generate. Our goal is to provide solid protection of business-oriented IP at a reasonable cost, which means that sometimes we advise against patenting and suggest alternative strategies to protect commercially interesting ideas.

How can SYNERGON help keep IP related costs down?

As an on-demand IP-department, we only charge you for the time spent on projects, whether we are used in the short term or for a longer duration. Much like some in-house patent departments, we work directly with patent attorneys all around the globe, which helps to keep costs down. Our close working relationship with our customers and IP expertise also mean that we know exactly what is needed such that we may request the right job and we know what it should cost. Because SYNERGON represents a large number of clients, we may also get bulk discounts with patent attorneys on an international basis, which further provides us with the opportunity to keep our costs down. The former may be, for example, in relation to translations due to the fact that we have established close collaborations and agreements with several translators.

 

We already have an in-house patent-department that handles the communication with patent attorneys and responds to Office Actions. How can SYNERGON assist us? What can SYNERGON offer?

Because SYNERGON operates as an external IP-department, which may be used on-demand, SYNERGON can offer services such as a second opinion for internal and/or external matters. We may also assist with management reports concerning strategic and financial decisions, as well as offer support and strategic guidance for the person(s) responsible for patenting in the firm.

 

We are happy with our current patent attorneys, do we have to change if we start working with you?

If the customer already has a working relationship with a patent attorney, which they are satisfied with, we believe they should maintain that relationship. If it makes things easier for the customer, we are happy to take part in continuing the relationship and manage future communications with the patent attorney. Depending on the desired role for the existing patent attorney there are several ways in which SYNERGON may work. We could, for example, take over the administration of patent applications and the patent portfolio, or we could assist the patent attorney at peak times and/or provide a second opinion on ongoing matters and issues.

 

In what areas do you have competence and experience?

Broadly, SYNERGON has competence in the areas of technology within the Life Sciences sector. This includes, for example, pharmaceutical development, biotechnology, microbiology, chemistry, CleanTech and MedTech. We also have competence in the IT fieldspace. Furthermore, our team of consultants have broad own industrial experience from the biotech and pharmaceutical area as well as academia, across related business and regulatory affairs areas, including commercialisation, technology transfer and deal negotiation.

Concerning other areas of technical competence (e.g., innovations that are purely mechanical in nature) or legal matters, including agreements and litigation, our immediate networks include a number of experts that we use and can recommend to our customers.

SYNERGON further has competence and expertise in the area of professional searches (including from Swedish pharmaceutical companies), not just with regards to searching patent- and non-patent databases, but also specialist databases, including chemical structures, gene and protein sequences. When investigating patentability, SYNERGON’s analysis has a major focus on inventiveness issues and we have extensive experience doing searches and analyses to determine inventiveness, not just novelty.

 

How may I test the quality of your work?

There are of course many ways to do this, but for a new customer we suggest starting with a Röda Lampan® IP Analys or a Triangelövning™. This provides an opportunity to get to know SYNERGON and test our services at a reasonable cost. Alternatively, we would be happy to provide a second opinion on any ongoing IP matter.

What is the cost of performing a Röda Lampan® IP-analys?

The price varies, depending on, for example, the inclusion of both searches for patent- and/or non-patent literature. For more complex searches, e.g., including chemical structures and/or sequences, an additional fee is charged. Contact us for a cost estimate!

 

What is the difference between a Röda Lampan® IP Analys and a novelty analysis?

A novelty assessment only ascertains whether the invention meets the criteria of novelty, i.e., if the invention has previously been published in its entirety in one publication. A Röda Lampan® IP Analys assesses if the invention is both novel and inventive over prior-art to determine patentability.

 

What is the difference between a Röda Lampan® IP-analys and Freedom-to-Operate (FTO) search?

A Röda Lampan® IP Analys assesses novelty and inventiveness of an invention to determine patentability (usually searching both patent- and non-patent literature). A FTO search analyses active patent claims to determine whether an invention infringes third party IP rights.

 

Is there a set fee for SYNERGON's services?

Several of SYNERGON's services are performed at a predetermined fee and a list of fees and charges are available. Alternatively, after discussion with the customer SYNERGON may provide an estimate of the cost for a particular service.

 

 

IP FOR BEGINNERS

 

Different forms of intellectual property (IP) protection

Intellectual property is the protection of creations of the mind and comprises mainly the protection of the following three categories: patents, trade marks and designs. Patents may only be sought for inventions providing a technical solution to a problem. As such you may not seek patent protection in relation to a brand or design feature, but you may utilise trade mark, copy right and design protection instead.

Patent protection

Patents stimulate the development of technology because a patent discloses how the invention works to competitors, whom may need to find unique solutions to similar problems. Through obtaining a granted patent you reserve the right to restrict others from exploiting an invention commercially, for example, selling and manufacturing the commercial product. The commercial exclusivity obtained through patents usually has a life span of 20 years, provided that you pay the required maintenance fees etc. A party that makes commercial use of the invention without permission, or a licence, may be sued for infringement.

What is needed to obtain patent protection?

Because it is the idea that forms the basis of a patent application, not only products can be protected using patents, but also methods and uses. To be patentable, an invention needs to meet three main criteria: novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability.

Why patenting?

There are many reasons to apply for a patent. It may be to stop plagiarism, get a head start on the competition, or to exclude competitors. Whatever the reasons, the ultimate reason for seeking patent protection is to do good business and to maximise return on investment.

For a company, it is therefore important to make sure that existing and new patents support the current business strategy. Competitive advantage may be obtained from market exclusivity, or the sole right to use the invention commercially, and in addition, the value of the company may also be enhanced. As such, the decision to obtain a patent is a business decision, where the cost of a patent should be weighed against potential future earnings.

Another potential benefit of obtaining a patent is that it may improve the odds of attracting a business partner. When a partner knows that they are getting access to technology that has already been protected, they may be willing to invest more. If you are not in the business of manufacturing or using the invention in-house, you may sell or licence your rights to the invention.

 

Work for us

 

Are you interested in working for SYNERGON?

We are always looking for qualified and motivated colleagues interested in working with a focus on IP. For example, IP-analyses, determination of patentability and concluding IP related projects for our customers. This work requires an understanding of the customer’s business needs and communication with Swedish, as well as international patent attorneys.

If you are interested in working with us, please fill the form below and we will contact you once a suitable opportunity presents. For more information contact CEO Jonas Faijerson Säljö on +46 708 81 12 31.