Strategic IP Management
Belimo handles a growing number of patents and trademarks via strategic management of its intellectual property (IP).
The primary reason for pursuing strategic intellectual property management is to ensure that both Belimo and its customers have the right to use products developed by the Company (freedom to operate).
Secondly, deploying strategic intellectual property management helps protect essential elements in the customer journey, as well as technological advantages and subsequent innovation leadership.
Continuously assessing the value of intellectual property rights and the optimal use of service providers ensures cost-effective operation. Additionally, intellectual property management maintains a patent database for tracking and sharing relevant information.
Strengthened Portfolio and Processes
Intellectual Property Overview
In 2022, Belimo filed the same high number of new patent applications as in the previous year, further strengthening its intellectual property portfolio. The number of patent families in active ownership increased to 120 as a total of 23 new patent families were created.
A major initiative in the period under review was the synchronization of intellectual property management with the ever-evolving research and development organization and the accompanying processes. Another focus was on strengthening the intellectual property protection covering the entire customer journey to ensure freedom to operate.
Our strategic intellectual property management team continuously monitors ongoing development projects in search for new patents, mapping out and analyzing their status in each business line. In addition, new application or technology patents in the HVAC industry are regularly monitored to ensure freedom to operate and to stay up to date with any advancements in the market. This approach allows developers to focus primarily on their own roles.
Intellectual property management also includes defining rules and dividing the work between development partners before a project is started. These aspects are well documented in development and nondisclosure agreements. If required, Belimo evaluates the licensing of advanced technologies for its products.
Strategic intellectual property management is especially relevant in the age of digitization. Belimo puts significant effort into monitoring activities in this field, as it is increasingly competing with IT companies that file for a vast number of patents. This field is another vital intellectual property area and Belimo has already filed several patent applications.
We track the following key performance indicators to assess our performance regarding the management of intellectual property:
- Patent families in active ownership.
- Newly created patent families.
- Number of cross-licensing agreements as an indicator of friendly relationships between Belimo and other companies, especially competitors.
- Total intellectual property related litigation cost in Swiss francs.
- Number of patents in the field of digitization.
- Quality of patents in relation to the mid- and long-term needs of the business lines and the Company strategy (a qualitative key performance indicator that is measured through the feedback from business line leaders).