ABPI’s Corporate Committee resumes activities with a strategic agenda
The approach to intellectual property strategy aligned with business strategy marked the first meeting of the year of ABPI’s Corporate Committee on April 26th. The roundtable featured two member companies, Vale and Stellantis, both from industries classified as intellectual property rights-intensive (IPR-intensive), according to a 2021 BPTO report indicating IPR-intensive industries in the Brazilian Economy. Companies were invited to share their strategies, achievements, challenges, and future perspectives concerning IPR utilization as part of their business strategy.
With new meetings scheduled, the first one in August, during ABPI’s International Congress on Intellectual Property, and the other in December, at the association’s fraternization lunch, the Committee resumes its activities to add value to the business community by promoting networking, sharing, and high-level discussions. The attendance of representatives from other fields of the member companies, such as Business, R&D, Innovation, Marketing, and others, is being encouraged, besides Legal, an area that generally follows ABPI’s activities.
“We are scheduling Committee meetings throughout the year to promote strategic debates and encourage participation in ABPI discussions with a business perspective on IP, connected to the interests of companies. One of the pillars is IP and Company Strategy, from the internal view perspective of the business, because we understand that intellectual property is an important tool for business decisions. The second pillar of the Committee is IP and the National Environment, from the external view perspective of the business, with special attention to the Brazilian scenario”, explained the new coordinator of the Corporate Committee, Patrícia Leal Gestic.
IPR-intensive Sectors and Industries
The 2016 industrial analysis report developed by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) indicates that IPR-intensive industries created an average of 27.8% of jobs in the EU over the course of the year. During that period, 60 million Europeans were employed in IPR-intensive industries. Besides, an additional 22 million jobs were created by industries that supply goods and services to IPR-intensive industries. Concerning indirect jobs, the total number of IPR-dependent jobs increases to 82.2 million (38.1%). In the same period, IPR-intensive industries generated more than 42% of total economic activity (GDP) in the European Union, worth €5.7 billion. They are also responsible for most of the trade between the European Union and the rest of the world, having generated a trade surplus and thus contributing to the stability of the EU’s trade balance. IPR-intensive industries pay significantly higher wages than other industries, with a 46% wage increase.
The Brazilian report, while measuring the participation of IPR-intensive industries in Brazil, aimed to leave its contribution in the context of the recent launch of the National Intellectual Property to promote a National IP System that encourages creativity and investments in innovation. The IP-intensive industries directly employed 19.3 million people, 36% of the total, and accounted for 2.1 trillion BRL, that is, a 44.2% share in the total gross value added in the assessed period, which demonstrates, in general, greater productivity of intensive industries compared to non-intensive industries. The IP-intensive industries generally paid an average salary 11% higher than salaries paid in the non-intensive industries.
The strategy of Vale and Stellantis
Two large global conglomerates, Brazilian Vale, one of the largest global iron ore producers, and the foreign company Stellantis, resulting from the merger of FCA Fiat Chrysler with the PSA Peugeot Citroen group, which manufactures light commercial vehicles, shared experiences and connections of the intellectual property topic in their respective businesses, presenting achievements, challenges, and expectations for the future for the Corporate Committee.
Industries as diverse and with technological challenges characteristic of their sectors, both Vale and Stellantis find in IP an opportunity to stand out in the market by delivering higher added value, quality, distinctiveness, and productivity, with efficient and strategic use of IPRs. The approach addressed a look at Brazil and abroad. In Brazil, Vale is intensive in patents and trademarks, and Stellantis is intensive in industrial design and trademarks.
At the event, Claudia Silva Oliveira, from Vale, emphasized the importance of intellectual property for the company. With a robust portfolio, the mining company has IP as one of the main assets of its business. To manage this entire portfolio nationally and internationally Vale maintains an internal multidisciplinary team in Brazil, with professionals responsible for conducting IP processes. The company’s innovation projects are in several areas, involving mining processes from its operational area, as well as projects that seek to benefit and improve its products for better delivery to its customers. A case was presented demonstrating a high degree of IP maturity and culture in the organization. “This project involved the IP area in the entire process and could reduce the emission of gases in steel production by up to 10%”, she explained.
In his presentation, Gustavo Monteiro from Stellantis showed that the industry is increasingly concerned about IPRs, but there is scope to translate investment in R&D and innovation in Brazil and the world into more effective production of IPRs in Brazil. Stellantis has a robust Brazilian portfolio of trademarks and industrial design assets, and abroad, it has an expressive patent portfolio. With several innovation fronts in Brazil, Monteiro believes that the number of Brazilian patents may increase due to the relevance of the Brazilian market for the business. For him, the culture of intellectual property is still not widespread in companies. “We need to think about IP strategically. There is plenty of innovation, but little protection. In future industry pillars, patents will become more and more important”.
The companies’ representatives attending the event raised relevant discussions and considered the meeting enriching, looking forward to the next agenda.