Helsinki IP Summit 2019 – Day 2
The very first Helsinki IP Summit took place on 23-24 October in Helsinki, at Helsinki Congress Hotel Paasitorni. Helsinki IP Summit connected people from diverse areas of intellectual property to hear about current IPR phenomena and the IP world. The presentations included IPR success stories, IPR and arbitration seminars, presentations related to the game industry, life sciences, well-being, health technology and IP as well as other IPR phenomena such as AI, blockchain, 5 G, Brexit and data.
For diving into the interesting topics that were discussed during the first day of the summit, click here. The presentations were organised into three parallel programmes that the participants could choose from based on the topics that interested them the most.
Thursday morning´s programme began with an overview to the latest news, trends and legislation concerning IP and EU by Government Copyright Counsellor, L.LD Viveca Still from Ministry of Education and Culture and Industrial Counsellor, Head of Division Mikko Huuskonen from Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Huuskonen highlighted the different perspectives to IP in EU. Innovation, industrial, societal and international perspectives are all relevant when looking at the world of IP from the EU’s perspective.
Chief Economist Mika Kuismanen from The Federation of Finnish Enterprises held a keynote speech on whether intellectual property leads to economic growth. IP has both direct and indirect effect on the economic growth. To answer the topic of the presentation, it can well be said that higher IP protection levels correlate with economic growth.
Pharma and IPR – Current trends & strategic branding in a field marked by intense competition
One of the parallel programmes of IP Summit focused on themes related to the pharma industry and IPR. The topics ranged from the value of IP in the health ecosystem to the EU industrial policies, focusing on growth and how to leverage IPR. Read Attorney-at-law, LLM IP, PhD Candidate Vilhelm Schröder´s thoughts on the points that were discussed during the pharmaceutical sector-focused programme on the second day of the Summit here.
First, IPR Director Heidi Adler from Orion Corporation held an exciting presentation about the global pharma business. Strong IP protection is especially important in the pharma industry since developing medicines is a slow process that requires considerable investments and resources. The competition is intensive since also generic competitors seek patents. However, patents are not the only type of IP that has relevance in the field; trademarks and design rights can also be very important for a pharma company.
Trademark and Design Counsel Taru Kallio-Nyholm from Orion discussed new trends in creating pharma brand and trademarks. Pharma branding is an especially challenging field since many names are already reserved for competitors, which means that there are a lot of infringement cases. In addition, many names that companies try to register are rejected. What is interesting concerning the future trends in pharma branding is that in the following years we will see the loss of exclusivity of many brand names. When it comes to Orion, there are mostly trademarks and domain names in Orion’s portfolio but protecting the design of for example packages will become increasingly important in the future.
Fascinating IPR success stories & the versatile role of IPR professionals in a company
The second parallel programme started with a panel discussion about the role of IPR professionals in companies. The discussion was chaired by Roberto Castagno, Head of IPR Services, TECH, from Nokia Technologies. The panellists included Katariina Ora, Associate General Counsel from Microsoft, Headhunter Jacob Williamson from Adamson & Partners and CEO and Partner Hannu Syrjälä from Berggren. The panellists analysed the role of an IP strategy in a company from the perspective of promoting IPR expertise. Questions such as should IP specialist have more of a supportive role or should they be an active part of a company’s business functions were discussed. The panellists also reminded the audience that when building a career in IP it can also be beneficial to try something totally different – such as HR to get a new insight and expertise that is also beneficial in IP related work.
CEO Timo Helosuo from Kolster continued with presenting key findings of the Finnish innovation and IP survey 2019. The survey indicates that Finland is innovative, but it could be better at commercializing its innovations. Maybe a bit surprisingly, 75% of the respondents of the survey that were mostly private companies did not know whether they had an IPR strategy or not. This implies that there is room for improvement in increasing awareness of IP issues among Finnish companies.
The following presentation was held by Maija Puustinen, Legal Director from Dispelix about IPR in a technology startup. Dispelix has a considerable number of patent applications compared with other domestic companies. According to Puustinen, an IP strategy in a start-up is shaped by certain factors that are: rather limited resources, collaboration with customers and registering the company’s IP. From the perspective of a start-up, having a well-planned IPR strategy seems vital.
The programme continued with an interesting presentation by Director, IAM, Timo Vuorimies from Wärtsilä about building an IPR strategy. Vuorimies underlined that a company needs to have a clear purpose in order to have a successful strategy. In this consideration, it is important to identify which are the key innovations that a company should protect via IP. For Wärtsilä, for example, protecting spare parts is beneficial as there are related services that come together with selling them that create additional market potential.
The second parallel programme ended with UPM-Kymmene Oy’s IPR Manager Juha Vattulainen’s presentation about an IP engine for comprehensive IP management. IP engine refers to looking above a single IP tool and combining several components to achieve better results. It is necessary to gather real time information for example on competitors’ patent families to be able to make grounded business decisions.
New Tehcnologies, AI and 5G – Changing the IPR landscape
The third parallel programme was centred on technology convergence and new technologies such as AI and 5G. Partner, Head of Contracts Kaisa Fahllund and Partner, European Patent Attorney Marjut Lattu-Hietamies from Berggren and Virpi Tognetty, Director, IP Management from Kemira discussed technology convergence and R&D projects from the lawyer’s and company’s point of view using Kemira’s R&D project as an example. They highlighted that R&D projects and agreements should be based on a company’s IP strategy meaning at least the company knows thoroughly its own existing IP portfolio. When executing a technology agreement, it is important to take the needed steps to protect the company’s background technology and identify existing patents from other companies to understand potential patent risks.
Principal Associate Johanna Flythström and Managing Partner Mikko Manner from Roschier Attorneys discussed GreenTech and how IP plays into solving the world’s problems. They introduced a set of paradoxes to highlight where the main principle issues lay when different companies try to make a great business out of solving the most difficult problems such as climate change. One of the problems with IP in GreenTech is that it has been acknowledged in businesses that IP is a value contributor and driver, but the approach has been centred around the exclusivity and the monopolies that IP as a registered right creates, much less on frameworks to share that IP and co-develop.
Heidi Härkönen, Doctoral Candidate from University of Lapland, discussed the relationship of fashion designing, copyright and artificial intelligence by examining what are the copyright related issues that the increasing use of AI fashion designer can cause. According to Härkönen, we should not create circumstances where new fashion designs would fall into the public domain even more easily than they do now. Leaving AI-generated fashion designs out of the scope of copyright protection could potentially increase the fast fashion phenomenon that is a problem to environment.
Nokia Fellow Timo Ali-Vehmas from Nokia Technologies underlined how 5G is shaping the ICT ecosystems. With 5G, we are entering into new era of communication and there are new business innovations that can be done. European Patent Attorney, Partner Jari Nieminen from Seppo Laine followed on by discussing the 5G, standardization and the patenting of 5G related inventions. Nieminen stressed that one of the key issues of patenting 5G related inventions are the high volumes of patent applications and the urgency in patenting process due to the standardization cycle.
Overall, Helsinki IP Summit was successful and inspiring event. IP practitioners and scholars had an opportunity to discuss and share a variety of perspectives on IP.
For more information about Helsinki IP Summit, click here.
Working at IPR University Center in 2019, the authors also assisted in preparing and carrying out Helsinki IP Summit 2019.
Photographer: Evgeniya Petrova