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Bologna, October 2011 - “Valorizing patents – New opportunities for evaluating and valorizing intangible assets”; is the title of the workshop organized by the University of Bologna held at the end of October in participation with experts of this sector to discuss patents and quantify their economic value.
During the event, organized within the University of Bologna’s “Masters in Intellectual Property management”, talks were delivered by some of the major specialists on this topic, such as Prof. Federico Munari representing the Felsinea University; Gianluca Fiorillo from Invitalia – a national agency and reference point for investments and business development; Stefano Cocchieri from UniCredit Banca; Beatrice Parenti and Matteo Zanaroli from the Intellectual Property department of Datalogic S.p.A.
Datalogic, a global leader in the market of bar code scanners, data collection mobile computers, RFID and vision systems, did indeed play a leading role at this workshop during a testimonial illustrating the company’s ability in staying ahead of the times and thus being a forerunner in this sphere.
Datalogic has for some time now and, well before most of the other Italian companies, been promoting and valorizing its intangible assets, predominantly engaging in intense R&D activity and subsequently, safeguarding the results obtained by registering the relevant patents and economically exploiting the inventions realized (it should be noted that Datalogic holds about 900 patents worldwide).
It is worth remembering that, from a simple means of protection, patents can today become an important tool for expansion and self-financing. Simply by exploiting the royalty proceeds earned from certain patents and reinvesting in the business, a virtual cycle is initiated that may finance other innovations.
To illustrate Datalogic’s specific case, Beatrice Parenti and Matteo Zanaroli presented an innovative project, which was commenced some years ago in collaboration with the University of Bologna and which focuses on quantitatively analyzing and economically valorizing all the patents owned by the company.
The first phase of the project, completed in 2010, involving different company areas of the various Divisions of the Group, from the Legal&IP division through to the R&D and marketing/sales division, was based on defining the objective criteria for valuing the patents, bearing in mind that to-date there are few known case studies into the application of the theoretic models developed in this context.
As for the quantitative valuation (in short, this means the exploitability and practicality for business), Datalogic has analyzed the patents from the standpoint of technical, legal and strategic considerations.
To conclude, the second phase of the project, which is still being finalized, defines a quantitative valuation method that will assign an economic value to the patents.
“The objectives of this experience are many – Beatrice Parenti, Datalogic IP Supervisor, explained during the workshop; first and foremost, that of acquiring an awareness of which patents owned by Datalogic are the most important and comprehending their economic value. Secondly, that of mapping the most protected technological areas and which patents are effectively used in the products. This analysis is then used to update the drivers for the patenting strategies, such as the geographic areas, the technological spheres where investments should be made etc. as well as the criteria for maintaining or abandoning patents and consequently assisting the Management in making decisions on the purchase, sales, licensing and enforcement of patents. The results of this project are fundamental to enable better delineation of the Group’s future strategy in terms of technology – patents and to allow Datalogic to strengthen its leadership in reference markets”.