Blog post by Zuzanna Kowalkiewicz, Patent Attorney, Noctiluca.
Intellectual property (IP) often collocates with disruptive innovation, deep-tech, or pioneering techniques. Companies like Noctiluca invest substantial resources in research and development to create new technologies, chemical compounds and processes. IP protection, through patents, can safeguard these innovations, allowing the company to recoup its investments and maintain a competitive edge. Moreover, a strong IP portfolio can be crucial when entering new markets. Hence, ‘Is intellectual property important to Noctiluca?’ is a rhetorical question. Our intellectual property has considerable importance.
Why intellectual property matters to Noctiluca?
Intellectual property protection plays an important role throughout the journey of ideas to the market, therefore, this intellectual property mindset is deeply entrenched in our business processes. To start with, the R&D department provides technical solutions, devises novel chemical compounds, and develops innovative devices. Those scientific ideas are scrutinised by the IP Team to verify their patentability and freedom-to-operate (FTO). It is crucial to ensure that those ideas can be protected by intellectual property rights mainly as patents or know-how. Furthermore, FTO enables the reduction of risk to exploit prospective products on the market. When those scientific ideas become R&D results, the results are reverified to check their ability to be protected and freely exploited on the market. The patentable inventions are the subject of patent applications and unpatentable ones are protected as know-how.
Noctiluca’s first and foremost value is the capability to solve clients’ problems efficiently and protect simultaneously created intellectual property. From our business standpoint, our strategy “customer first” aims at meeting the industry’s challenges and protecting the results in the longest possible routes. This approach enables to prevent competitors from obtaining a right for the same invention anywhere in the world. Another benefit of this approach is the strengthening of our market position. Intellectual property rights provide a basis to refrain competitors from infringement and seek compensation for damages. In the same way, IP can be licensed and our licensee may launch products on new markets (e.g., foreign distributors). In the long, the strategy outperforms the competition in terms of the number of market-savvy secured IP and satisfied customers.
All above factors influence the fact, that Noctiluca supports inventors to broaden their knowledge in the field of intellectual property. IP corporate education provides a better understanding of IP processes for all their participants. Therefore, IP awareness-building education, so important in our company, ensures the overall development of the employees and Noctiluca in the long run.
Integrated intellectual property value chain
Not only does intellectual property facilitate the journey of scientific developments to the market, but also executes a coherent business strategy. Noctiluca’s strategy is based on five pillars: (1) meet market needs, (2) world-class science, (3) finding industrial applications, (4) IP protection, and (5) commercialisation on a global scale. The fully integrated intellectual property value chain in company processes ensures that R&D results constitute Noctiluca intangible assets protecting R&D investment. Consequently, Noctiluca builds a targeted portfolio of IP that supports its business objectives.
Taking advantage of all patent protection routes
Inventions can be protected on a national, regional, or international route. The national route is the simplest way to file a patent application and seek protection in a certain country. If more than one territory is the area of interest, the 12-month grace period for filing an overseas patent application. The grace period provides the opportunity to file subsequent applications without losing the patentability of an invention. Bearing in mind where patent protection is sought, it is worth taking into account the regional or international routes. Regional routes make it possible to file one patent application having a legal effect in several territories. After issuing a regional patent, the protection is valid in chosen countries on a national level or has a uniform protection across all countries. The most known regional patent offices constitute European Patent Office, African Regional Intellectual Property Organization, African Intellectual Property Organization, or Eurasian Patent Organization. Similarly, the international route known as the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application offers the centralization of filing inventions in 157 countries around the world. The PCT international procedure usually lasts 30 months from the earliest filing date of the initial application and enables assignees to grant a patent directly before the national or regional patent offices. In practice, taking advantage of all patent protection routes streamline intellectual property management, lower cost, and adjust the scope of protection to main markets.