Podoactiva: Walking Hand in Hand with Intellectual Property

Machine Translation: English
  • Name: Podoactiva S.L.
  • Country / Territory: Spain
  • IP right(s): Trademarks
  • Date of publication: June 28, 2022
  • Last update: July 22, 2022

Podoactiva S.L. is a Spanish company staffed by a team of health and engineering professionals. Founded and headquartered in Huesca (Spain), it specializes in podiatry, biomechanics and 3D printing, and is a pioneer in the introduction of new technologies and specialized treatment units.

(Photo: Podoactiva)

Podoactiva began in 1994 as a small podiatry practice run by Víctor Alfaro Santafé, podiatrist and current CEO of the company. In the early days, he used a machine that he himself had made, powered by a washing machine motor, to make his first orthopedic insoles from plaster casts at his parents’ house. His brother, Javier, helped him to make the insoles and would go on to become an experienced podiatrist and the current technical director of Podoactiva. In 2013, Forbes magazine selected Víctor as one of 17 talents to watch out for internationally.

In its more than 25 years of activity, Podoactiva S.L. has continued to expand at home and abroad. The company is currently present in 125 Spanish clinics and has units in Andorra, Costa Rica, Egypt, Italy, Mexico, Portugal and Poland. Today, the Podoactiva team is made up of more than 300 professionals, more than half of them podiatrists, physiotherapists, physicians and physical activity and sports science professionals.

Sustainable innovation focused on improving quality of life

With a clear focus on innovation and improving quality of life, the group invests a large portion of its profits in research, development and innovation. The approach of Podoactiva to people’s health and wellbeing is rooted in the care of their only point of contact with the earth: their feet.

The company has embraced such technological innovations as its patented 3D Scan insole editing software, customized “smart insoles” and the first automated manufacturing and assembly line for customized insoles, which can manage up to 6,000 different possible combinations for an insole. Podoactiva has registered four patents through the WIPO international patent system.

(Photo: Podoactiva)

The company has also come to specialize in sports and counts some of the major soccer clubs in the country, including Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, Valencia and Sevilla, among its customers. It is also an official supplier in other disciplines for the umbrella soccer, athletics and golf federations and for the Spanish Olympic and Paralympic Committees.

How does the WIPO Madrid System help Podoactiva to protect its trademarks?

As a medium-sized company going through a boom period of growth, Podoactiva S.L. needs to register its trademarks outside Spain in order to benefit from the exploitation of rights in the countries in which it operates. Currently, Podoactiva S.L. has three international trademark registrations, which have obtained protection in 11 countries.

Intellectual property (IP) rights are critical for Podoactiva, as it generates a good deal of research, development and innovation activity that helps the company to distinguish itself from its competitors. Protecting IP is a key tool, given the central role innovation plays in the company’s activities.

Registration in the Madrid System provides an economical and practical means of protecting trademarks. The system makes it possible to register a trademark in several countries at once for one set of fees. Applications may be filed in English, French or Spanish. The system also allows Podoactiva to modify its registrations, such as by adding countries through a subsequent designation. Moreover, all procedures can be carried out online through e-Madrid, which saves time by avoiding lengthy administrative processes.

Podoactiva and the Madrid System in practice

YouNext (registration numbers 1207374 and 1502643)

Podoactiva has continued to grow with the launch of YouNext, the brand for its company specialized in the design and manufacture of fully customized orthopedic products. It uses the latest technology, based on scanners and additive manufacturing, all of which is built on 3D as the backbone for the manufacture of its products.

(Photo: Podoactiva)

Podoactiva decided to register the two trademarks in 10 countries, including such diverse markets as China, the Russian Federation, Australia and Mexico. The registrations include both goods and services covered by the Nice Classification, as orthopedic (class 10), technological (class 9) and injury prevention (class 28) assets are created under the trademark. The company also includes class 42, which covers scientific and technological research services and computer and software design. The Madrid System allows companies to make changes in the services and products covered by a trademark, and to add new countries to the trademark registration. Many Madrid System transactions can be carried out online, ensuring a simple, fast and intuitive service for Podoactiva.

Innovating to improve quality of life

In just over two decades, Podoactiva has established itself as a company working to improve its patients’ quality of life, developing innovative techniques and putting together a multidisciplinary team to cover all areas of podiatry. As the company continues to grow, good management of its trademarks is essential for breaking into new markets and protecting its investment in innovation and development.