IPR is part of the competitive edge of global companies

2-3/2018 Haastattelu 22.8.2018

In business, managing intellectual property on a global level is in a state of constant change. IPRinfo asked Karoliina Junnila from KONE and Teija Kopio from Fiskars to tell about their work in IPR management in these internationally renown Finnish companies.

1) What is your work comprised of?
2) How, why and when did you obtain your present job?
3) How much travelling does your work require?
4) What is the impact of your work in making the world a better place?
5) How do you see the role of IPR in [global] business during the next 10 years?
6) Describe a top moment in your career so far.

Karoliina Junnila, Head of Patent Management, KONE

“It is satisfying to see a new employee meeting the expectations and growing into new challenges.”

1) My weeks and days vary a lot. My responsibility is to keep Patent Practices in line with the strategic direction of KONE. This includes budgeting, target setting, competence development for the team, running the Patent Board and some other Patent Steering meetings. The past weeks, for example, have included patent portfolio management related tasks, target setting discussion for the team members, recruiting a summer trainee and running a Patent Board meeting.

2) After 14 years at Nokia in various IPR related tasks, I was ready for some change in my professional life. Then this position at KONE opened. It has given me an opportunity to focus on the thing I enjoy most: the operational management of the whole patenting function.

3) I am happy to tell you that I need not travel much. I usually make one or two business trips a year. During my Nokia days I travelled a lot and got my share of that. Even though KONE is an international company, most things can be managed through for example Skype-calls and emails.

4) A challenging question! As urbanization is a megatrend all around the world, KONE is trying to make cities better places to live. With elevators, escalators and related services and solutions, the company ensures excellent people flow solutions. In the patent department, we aim to ensure competitive advantage and freedom to operate in these strategic areas.

5) The role of IPRs in global business? Hard to say. I would say it depends on the industry we are talking about. In some areas patenting might be too slow a tool to gain competitive advantage whereas in some other industries it might be justified. Moreover, trade secret considerations are now getting more attention. What comes to the bigger change in Europe and the unified patent court UPC, I am somewhat sceptic. Let’s wait and see.

6) There are many moments from both Nokia and KONE which I cherish. If I must pick one, I say that I have been proud of many recruitments I have done both at Nokia and KONE. It is always satisfying to see a new employee starting to meet the expectations, growing into new challenges and roles and making a good fit to the existing team.

Teija Kopio, Global IPR Specialist, Fiskars

“In the future, 3D printing, IoT and AI will have an impact on the role of IPRs.”

1) My work varies a lot daily and weekly. I am responsible for managing the IPR portfolio, which comprises patents, designs, trademarks and copyrights globally. I have, therefore, plenty of different assignments from the IPR protection perspective like filing, prosecution and enforcement. Recently, the new IPR strategy and its implementation throughout the corporation has kept me busy.

2) I have twenty years’ experience in the IPR field, first at the Foundation for Finnish Inventions (Keksintösäätiö) and then 15 years at Nokia in a number of IPR related roles and responsibilities. About five years ago Fiskars was hiring the first inhouse IPR specialist in the company’s history, and I thought it might be something new and interesting for me. At the time I was working for Nokia IT. This position at Fiskars was my comeback to the IPR field. I have enjoyed working for Fiskars and expanding my earlier IPR experience into the operative management of whole IPR portfolio.

3) Luckily, I do not need to travel in business more than 5–8 times per year. Nowadays there are so many other contact and communication options like Skype video and audio meetings that it is no longer necessary to travel a lot – at least not in my job.

4) A good question! In Fiskars, we focus on building a family of iconic lifestyle brands. Fiskars’s vision is to create a positive, lasting impact on the quality of life by making the everyday extraordinary. The main competitive edge of our products results from strong brands, unique and compelling designs and craftmanship as well as from innovations that make the products more efficient and easier to use. This is the outcome of a very long and consistent product development. The way to protect these results of intellectual achievements is to utilize various IPRs – trademarks, registered designs, patents and copyright.

5) I wish I had a crystal ball. The future depends on the business where you are operating. I think that the 3D printing, Internet of things and artificial intelligence will have an impact on the role of IPRs. In Europe, we also have other changes in the IPR field, for example Brexit and Unified Patent Package/Court. The final impact of those changes remains to be seen.

6) It is difficult to name one specific top moment of my career. However, I am proud and lucky that I had the opportunity to be a part of “the IPR Academy of Nokia”. At present, I am excited about that I can expand my IPR experience and knowledge in a different business with different challenges and contribute to the development of Fiskars IPR management into the next level.

Aiheet: Haastattelut

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