IP Outreach Research > IP Use and Awareness


Title: Achieving cost effective growth internationally: better use of intellectual property in a downturn
Author: [Lighthouse Global]

Field Fisher Waterhouse

Year: 2008


Subject/Type: IP Protection
Focus: Commercialisation
Country/Territory: France, Germany, United Kingdom
Objective: To examine how companies exploit their intellectual property rights.
Sample: 150 lawyers and senior executives responsible for intellectual property in the retail, media entertainment, technology and telecoms, and life sciences and pharmaceuticals sectors
Methodology: Interviews

Main Findings

In 2008, the majority of companies interviewed looked upon intellectual property (IP) as vital for growth. Over half (56%) agreed that IP would increase in value over the next three years (3% disagreed, 22% replied “stay the same”). Two in three (67%) agreed that licensing was key to growth. 79% agreed that leveraging intangible assets was even more important in a slowing economy. However, 78% failed to fully capitalise on their IP.

Study authors identified six key challenges that prevent companies from using IP as a growth driver: limited planning is holding companies back – just 43% of respondents reported having carried out a formal IP audit in the last three years, and only 52% had an up-do-date plan for these assets. 61% cited "lack of IP expertise" as a barrier preventing effective IP use. Companies have a narrow view of intangible assets: while they claimed to use licensing and joint ventures/partnerships quite often as a way of generating revenue, other options available, such as franchising or mortgaging/securising, were much less popular.

Traditional approaches to international expansion (via subsidiaries, joint ventures/partnerships, acquisitions) remain entrenched – only 35% of companies reportedly planned to use licensing and even fewer (11%) planned to use franchising. Regulatory complexity was considered an additional barrier to leveraging value from IP by 73% of respondents; the European Patent System was also considered too complex by 49% of companies. Finally, there are concerns about development and enforcement costs: high filing and protection costs were seen as barriers to exploiting IP by 68% of respondents.

[Date Added: Dec 1, 2008 ]