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Whether you are a coffee or a tea lover this new case study will surely interest you. It tells the story of how two Spanish entrepreneurs effectively protected and managed their IP rights and IP strategy thanks to the services provided free of charge by IVACE (a Spanish institute of business competitiveness, member of the Enterprise Europe Network).

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IP rights are meant to provide companies with a solid foundation for their business success. Patent portfolios, in particular, can be an exceptional means to exploit innovation in the market place and establish business partnerships. This case study shows that even a small company with little money can succeed in a competitive market environment and win against bigger competitors if such a company can leverage its business value using patent rights. Furthermore, thanks to patents' strength and to their efficient management, investors are attracted by the perspective of long-term economic benefits deriving from a business that is IP-protected.

Every day many good ideas and research results are wasted due to a wrong strategic innovation plan; writing a “good patent” does not necessarily mean that an idea is transformed into a “good business”. Before starting with a new technology development or a research project, both entrepreneurs and researchers should carefully develop knowledge of the state of the art using IP databases for verifying if the idea is really new and if there is any blocking patent contained in other similar technologies. This would prove to be beneficial from the business rollout up to the subsequent internationalisation, and the present case study draws attention to this process.

This case study presents a well-thought IP management structure in a FP7 consortium, which has the function of ensuring smooth implementation of the project and optimal exploitation of the resulting intangible assets.

The present case study brings to your attention the importance of having a sound IP management during FP7 projects, able to foresee actions aimed at avoiding and resolving potential IPR conflicts arising during and after the project's implementation. This would indeed lead to a successful research project and to an enhanced marketability of the project results.

This case on the Hydrocoat FP7 project focuses on the importance of having the results generated during a research project well protected, mainly when they have a huge commercial impact, in order to reap the full benefits from the R&D activity and to avoid those results be unduly exploited by others.

This anonymous case study is based in an experience of a consortium participating in a research for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) associations’ action. The consortium partners in this project faced difficulties to agree on the definition of “fair and reasonable conditions” to be granted to the SME associations.

This case study has been produced in collaboration with Own-it, an IP service established within the University of the Arts London. Own-it's case has been selected as an instructive example of a first-line IP advice so as to highlight the importance of setting up an IP centre within academic institutions. This service's purpose is to confer a holistic approach to IP education and management, to convert knowledge into socio-economic benefits.