We asked Peter Berg, Senior Vice President for Intellectual Property at Infineon Technologies, about what he thinks of the recent changes in the IP service providers’ market. Big players seem to consolidate their services. But what does this move mean for customers? What are the benefits? Are there any disadvantages?
Peter Berg joined Infineon 2017 as VP Intellectual Property in Legal and Patents.
He held similar positions in the automotive and food packaging industries at Draexlmaier and Tetra Pak before. Peter is an Electrical Engineer graduating from TU Dresden in 1994. He spent the early years of his career at Siemens to become a German and European Patent Attorney serving the telecom businesses in various positions, latest as Chief IP Licensing Counsel.
Peter serves as board member for the Association of Intellectual Property Experts in Germany.
Broadening IP services or just consolidating?
The market of IP service providers other than law firms remains dynamic. There seems to be a lot of attention from investors, also outside the industry. Whether the changes are signs of fresh investment or merely consolidation among the same players is the big question. Although investment in the development of better products and services is good from a customer perspective, lower intensity of competition is less attractive.
Never lose sight of your customer
Just being bigger and accumulating multiple services, either in the same or in adjacent areas will not bring additional value to customers. It seems that more and more IP service providers have understood that plug-in solutions for service extensions around strong IP Management Systems or similar heavily used software is the way forward.
This requires long-term commitments based on existing relationships and continued efforts to create better-integrated services. They conceptualize the service offerings with the user experience in mind (who are often entrenched with their existing IPMS) and by doing so substantially improve the software along with the service.
Keep improving your digitalized workflows
Working from home has demonstrated that every inch of progress made in the past to have fully paperless and well-connected processes with seamless interactions among and between in-house staff and their external partners or service providers was worth the prior efforts. This might be the real driving force for future improvements.
Try to develop standardized interfaces
The big question mark I notice is whether open interfaces on the IP Management Systems and services or multiple distinct eco systems with their own proprietary interfaces will prevail. I would wish for more standardization on the interface side between the various tools and services allowing for even more new creative solutions to enter the market and later scale-up, reducing costs induced by each interface gap, and helping in-house IP teams to focus on value creation towards the operating business.