“I am up-to-date again,” comments a participant in the advanced course at the V.O. IP Academy. In the autumn of 2015, dozens of IP managers and officers took part in the introductory and advanced course in the field of IP. IP Leads asked three participants about their motivations and experiences.
Paul Ostlender, R&D Manager at Repair Care International defines his learning objective as follows: “What is a smarter way for SMEs to handle IP, for example when they are collaborating with others? We already work with V.O. and this will enable us to assess better how we can optimise this process. The key insight for me was the way in which you document the arrangements with partners. An invention is never owned jointly. It is important to make clear arrangements in this regard. The explanation in respect of the patent structure also proved useful as it demonstrates how you could choose to renew a patent only in selected countries, in order to save on costs.”
Bringing knowledge up-to-date
“Patents have changed a great deal over the course of 25 years,” comments Willem Drost, consultant at Enterprise Solutions. At the time, Drost was transferred to the United States, tasked with the repositioning and management of large divisions of Dutch multinationals. After one of his turnaround projects culminated in a Champions of Industry Award, he moved into the IT sector. Having sold his stake in the last IT company, he returned to the Netherlands. He now coaches numerous start-ups and is involved in the European Horizon 2020 framework programme for Research and Innovation. “Protecting specific expertise is essential for businesses. It does not just help them to get the most from their expertise from a commercial point of view. In the case of start-ups, this is also key to attracting investment. Although I completed a law degree, there have been numerous developments, especially with regard to the European patent. Thanks to the training course, I am fully up-to-date again. This will be invaluable when I am providing advice in the field of intellectual property rights.”
Commercialization of research rights
Approximately one year ago, Anneke Toxopeus changed departments within Groningen University to take up a position in the Technology Transfer Office. “Whenever one of the university’s researchers comes up with an invention, we support them in preparing a patent application. Our department also arranges for the researcher’s rights to be transferred to the University.” What did the course offer her? “It is very stimulating and useful to listen to stories and questions from other companies and organisations. The information on trademarks and models was also very valuable as it made me aware that IP is much a broader field than I previously thought. In particular, I felt that the topic regarding licensing agreements was very informative.”
Learn more about IP with IP Academy
As part of its IP Academy, V.O. runs an introductory and advanced training course on an annual basis for innovative entrepreneurs. The course is predominantly aimed at IP managers and officers responsible for handling IP within their company. Topics including licensing, partnerships, subsidies and fiscal regulation are also discussed. The advanced course follows on from the introductory course; however, participants are not required to complete the introductory course first. Course announcements are published at this website and in our newsletter, among other places.