IP Strategy/IP Plan
 Finances & Budgeting
 Portfolio Management





SYNERGON offers advice and hands-on assistance
in relation to all aspects of the patenting process,
per hour or per project, as the parties have agreed upon.
We provide customised, flexible solutions based
on the client’s needs, but also standardised services

Our services

Outsourced but integrated

Strategic consultation

Could we be of assistance to you in furthering strategic discussions?

Our bottom line is that IP is all about current and future business, not just about protecting a technology or invention for the sake of it. While it may be difficult to predict what a business opportunity will look like in the future, we consider it is necessary to try, in order to make the right decisions. This is what we refer to as business-oriented IP.

Of importance for business-oriented IP is defining the future commercialisation strategy, which the IP should encompass and protect. It is also not possible to ignore the competition if the business is to be viable in the long term. Similarly, you can’t create the best possible protection of your business without caring about the business environment in which you are operating.

Therefore, important strategic questions are as follows:
  • What do we know about the plans of the competition?
  • Research and development (R&D) breakthroughs?
  • What patents are there in the field?
  • What is happening with the competitions’ patents?

We are of the opinion that business and IP strategy go hand in hand, including with regards to performing an appropriate analysis of the business environment. SYNERGON can help with patentability searches in patent and technology databases, as well as searching for commercially useful market data to support, for example, patent applications and strategic analyses.

Triangelövning™
In strategic discussions, we often use our working model referred to as Triangelövning™. As a starting point, this model helps a business map the alignment, or integration between the IP portfolio, market- and R&D -plans, as well as the activities of the competition. It is important to follow up the work done in a Triangelövning™ and we recommend that our customers work continuously with refining and adjusting the model, for example, once yearly.

Using relevant information about the business environment and in a manner that simultaneously considers business, R&D and IP matters, we can not only generate a better basis for future business income, but also increase the value of your assets. A Triangelövning™ often results in a long-term operational IP plan for the company.

Business Oriented Due Diligence BO-DD™
Within the framework of a BO-DD™ a detailed analysis of the business’ predisposition for future success, in relation to IP, is assessed prior to, for example, M&A. Do exsisting IP rights protect the proposed business? How strong is the IP protection? What does the competitions IP situation look like?

BO-DD™ is often done as a supplement to traditional due diligence in connection with a pending sale of a company. We can also perform the analysis for companies and/or projects that are preparing for an exit, or bringing new investors on board. The aim of the former analysis would be to increase the value, or to clarify the value, of a project or company.

Our consultants have relevant competencies in the areas of IP and business and have many years of experience from different industries to assist you in the optimal way.

 

IP-Plan

The IP plan is meant to form an integral part of the business strategy of developing and marketing products and services. The focus of the IP plan is exploiting the market exclusivity that IP protection affords by supporting current and future business development activities.

The IP plan is a “living document”, which means that it should be updated regularly and in any case, following key decisions and as new and important information becomes available.

When planning business development related activities, based on identified/perceived market opportunities in combination with possibilities within the requisite area of technology, there should be a simultaneous evaluation and strategic plan in relation to IP matters. The regulatory options that may lead to market exclusivities should also be considered and coordinated with IP related aspects.

An IP Plan may include the following:
  • A general IP strategy is devised in connection with, for example, a Triangelövning™
  • Patents/patent applications relevant to the business/project/product (own and in-licenced)
  • Design/trade mark protection, domain, copyright, trade secrets relevant to the business/project/product (own and in-licenced)
  • Regulatory exclusivities relevant to the business/project/product
  • Potential new forms of IP protection for the business/project/product
  • Deals/contracts relevant to current and future IP positions
  • Publication strategy
  • Relevant third party IP

Searching & Analysis

Searching & analysis is a service that assesses the IP-status of a project.

This service is primarily directed towards projects with existing IP, such as patents/patent applications and aims to answer the following questions:
  • Is it likely that the patent application (as filed) will be granted?
  • What does the competitive situation look like?
  • Are there other patents that may be a hindrance?
  • Are there other options for protecting the project?

The analysis is presented in the form of a report, which further details recommendations for moving the project forward.

 

Patentability analysis   Röda Lampan® IP-ANALYS

Röda Lampan® IP-analys is a preliminary patentability analysis of an idea from an IP perspective. It aims to identify obvious obstacles, or "red lights" in relation to the invention, with consideration of the desired business strategy. The analysis is performed under a confidentiality agreement, where SYNERGON agrees not to pass on any information about the client or the invention to third parties.

A Röda Lampan® IP-analys consists of the following elements:
  • An initial meeting with the project management team (researchers, business development managers etc) to discuss the project, research results, business opportunities and what it is that may be considered important to protect from a business perspective
  • Preliminary searches in public databases, including patent, to determine patentability of the new invention, as agreed upon in the previous point and by using available project or invention summaries. The analysis is presented in the form of a report
  • A follow-up meeting with the project management team to evaluate the report and to discuss suitable options for IP protection

The report includes a statement of potential hurdles, sources of information, key words used for the searches and relevant prior-art. This service is offered at a standardised charge. However, in some cases additional charges may apply.

 

Maintenance & monitoring   IP MONITOR™

SYNERGON offers assistance with administering new patent families and other IP matters, as well as established patent portfolios.

IP Monitor™ is a service offered to support the entire administration of our clients’ IP-portfolios (under standardised contracts). We monitor and respond to Office Actions and deadlines, from national and international authorities or patent offices, propose strategic options and remedies, handle maintenance fees and monitor the quality and cost of the patent portfolio as a whole for our clients.

Part of the service is an administrative system for IP management, specifically tailored to small and medium sized enterprises. The former management system encompasses all active project matters and is easily accessed and updated. Monitoring, prioritising, budgeting, cost reporting and producing a variety of reports are easily done to suit individual customer needs. This administrative system may be installed locally, at the client’s location to be managed in-house, alternatively varying levels of assistance from our consultants may be discussed. Clients also gain access to our global network of qualified patent attorneys, in order to retain such services on more favourable terms.

SYNERGON can be wholly responsible for IP administration, alternatively we can use our specialist knowledge to tailor a solution that suits the customer.

 

Application base   PATENT SYNOPSIS™

With a Patent Synopsis™ we can undertake thorough searches and analyses, which combined with descriptions of the technology, invention and market analysis can underpin decisions about what business/product should be protected. This synopsis may further form the basis of a patent  or trade mark application, which is finalised by a patent attorney in our network and filed with the relevant authority.

Central to this process are questions such as:
  • What is the proposed business? What needs to be protected?
  • What does the field of technology look like, e.g., what is the previously known technology or the prior-art?
  • What does the business opportunity look like?
  • Are patents the best option, or are there other alternative or complementary forms of IP protection?

We help identify a suitable country, or region, for the patent application, as well as patent attorneys. We have over time built up an extensive, quality assured world-wide network of patent attorneys. The choice of attorney is on a case-by-case basis with consideration of the project at hand and potential conflict  of interest.

It is also important to consider trade mark registration early on in a project. It is not unusual that what you work on becomes a brand (with its own name) and through use and publication of the brand you can create value and an identity that should be protected.

 

E-Health

Strategic analysis of IP aspects for eHealth projects – IP-Verifiering eHälsa™

IP-Verifiering eHälsa™ is a service tailored to entrepreneurs and start-up companies developing Apps or devices (e.g., diagnostic, life-style etc.), software (including digitalisation of health care related products and services), databases or bioinformatics related methods.

The overall aim of this service is to assess and categorize all aspects of project/company IP (e.g., patents, trade marks, trade secrets, copy right etc.), including options for protecting IP and potential hurdles, in a cost-effective manner.

It is important to realise that for eHälsa innovations, patents are not necessarily the best option. The strategy that is generated from the former assessment of company IP can assist companies in refining their business models to leverage USPs while still protecting valuable IP, for example, a head of seeking investment.

IP-Verifiering eHälsa™ can also be combined with other SYNERGONs products, such as the IP-plan, with the aim of providing the company with a long-term operative plan for managing IP. For companies with products closer to market SYNERGON can further assist with performing competitor analysis and FTO searches. Same as for all our services, the analysis is performed under a confidentiality agreement, where SYNERGON agrees to keep all information about the client and the invention secret.

In general, IP-Verifiering eHälsa™ comprises the following elements:
  • A meeting with the project management team (e.g., inventors, business development managers etc.) to discuss the project, relevant research results, business opportunities and/or what it is that may be considered key to protect from a business perspective
  • Identification of IP aspects relevant to the particular project/company and potential early-stage commercialisation hurdles. For example, hurdles can include restrictions on commercialising software and/or databases assembled from multiple (open) sources. We also provide recommendations on moving forward. All information will be summarised in a report
  • A follow-up meeting with the project management team to evaluate the report and to discuss suitable IP strategies

In the event analysis of patentability of one or more aspects of the project IP is deemed feasible, preliminary searches in patent- and publicly available databases can be incorporated in the above schedule.

The concluding written report will provide; a summary of relevant IP, statement of potential hurdles, sources of information, key words used for searches and any relevant prior-art (if applicable). The IP-Verifiering eHälsa™ service is offered at standardised charges, however, in some cases additional charges may apply.

 

Cost reduction

Patents cost money, but the amount invested can depend on how the application is managed. SYNERGON’s bottom line is that we propose the best possible business based solution, at the best possible rate and value to our customers.

Efficient Handling
Every step of the way we focus on reducing costs and saving money by minimising the number of intermediaries. Combining our experience from industry and academia with other specialists within the SYNERGON network, we find creative business solutions for your projects. Patent attorneys in Sweden and abroad assist us with finalising and filing IP related matters, such as patent applications. When filing an application internationally, we further help you by going directly to a patent attorney in the country of choice. We are transparent about patent related costs; which are disclosed and reported directly back to you. We only charge you for our time, as we have previously agreed, and we don’t add any other surcharges to your bill.

Strategic Choice of Filing Country
Depending on the business focus of a project, it can be important to choose the right country for filing the first, or a so called priority application. It is also a question of cost. We can assist with designing the right strategy for, for example, fast approval or postponing costs. In most cases we also effectively manage the entire process from filing the application through patent prosecution, in order to obtain granted patents, globally.

Keeping your Patent Portfolio Up-to-Date
We suggest a regular review of established patent portfolios to determine whether the portfolio still fits with current market and R&D plans. This could, for example, be done in a Triangelövning™. An important aspect of the revision is to identify patents that are not being utilised within the business, or that are no longer relevant to the business strategy. Within many areas of technology there is a delay of at least 10 years from when the invention is conceived until a product hits the market. This is why a review of the patent portfolio needs to be carried out regularly to ensure that optimal protection is obtained. In utilising SYNERGON’s network of contacts, we may further assist with licensing, or finding other solutions, for patents that no longer support your business needs.

Different Categories of IP Protection
There are several different forms of IP protection for businesses to consider: patents, trade marks, designs and trade secrets. In regards to patent protection, in some countries it is possible to file a provisional application, at a reduced initial cost. This may be done at an early stage of the project, which means that a large part of the patent related costs can be postponed, to be better matched with potential revenue. However, a provisional application must be carefully done to give the wanted priority with a full application within a 12 month period. In the event a full application can not be pursued, a possible defensive strategy (aimed at restricting competitors from seeking protection for similar ideas) can be to publish your work.

Maintenance Fees
Through bulk purchases of services, such as monitoring and managing maintenance fees, we continuously strive to reduce ongoing costs for you as a patent holder. Do contact us for a quote in relation to a new or ongoing matter, for example, before entering national phase – i.e. 30 months after the first patent filing!

Administration
We offer varying degrees of administrative support to facilitate management of IP matters for our customers. We can take responsibility (in full) for patent prosecution until a granted patent is obtained, or we can assist with IP matters as needed, depending on the solution sought by the customer.

 

Education

Strategic use of IP for users and advisors
SYNERGON has extensive experience in the field of education in relation to strategic use of IP. Our educational programs are aimed at companies, clients within academia and advisors, for example, within the innovation system.

When using IP as a means to build business, it is often important to be inspired by the performance/choices of others e.g., what worked and what didn't. Our programs are tailored to the needs of the client, both in terms of content and scope, and they are underpinned by case studies and experience.

Patent law in different jurisdictions can be part of the educational program. Our consultants always highlight the practical uses, together with different IP instruments and methods to build knowledge and add value to our clients’ projects.

Educational discussions with a combined focus on IP, technology and markets, using the so called "Strategic Triangle" as a working model, is a good way to increase your knowledge of IP in a business development sense. The aim is to answer questions such as; What opportunities are there? What needs to be protected? How should it be protected? What is the most cost effective means of protection?