ŠKODA’s perspective on IP protection

Author:Miroslav Černý - Martin Bali-Jenčík - Kateřina Fuková
Position::Intellectual Property Department, ŠKODA AUTO, Mladá Boleslav, Czech Republic
SUMMARY

Since its beginnings in the late 19th century, the auto industry has been a driving force of innovation, continuously pushing the boundaries of technological development. The vehicles we drive today are among the most sophisticated technologies we own.

 
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Auto manufacturing is a high-tech business, from the materials used to the manufacturing processes employed. Every new model is packed with the latest high-performance technologies. The aim? To seduce customers and expand market share. Cars are a signal of technological progress and play a central role in our everyday lives, enabling us to move around with ease. As such, they are rarely far from the public spotlight.

At ŠKODA AUTO, innovation, and its protection through the use of intellectual property (IP) rights, is as old as the company itself. Innovation and IP continue to play a pivotal role in the company’s commercial success as well as its environmental credentials.

In the uncompromising competition to win customers, innovation is the key. It is not enough for a company to simply maintain production and sales. Long-term success hinges on a readiness and an ability to introduce and develop new and improved technologies. The need to invent something new and special, something that amazes and inspires customers, is a constant challenge. And we depend on IP rights to protect these high-value assets.

The cars of today are made from high-tech materials and produced using high-tech processes. A commitment to innovation makes it possible to come up with increasingly high-performance drivetrains, such as hybrid or electric engines, new materials, driver-assistance systems, electronics and communication management systems. Commercial success also hinges on attractive product design, effective use of distinctive trademarks and the implementation of carefully crafted and competitive services.

At ŠKODA AUTO, responsibility for protecting and managing the company’s innovative assets lies with the Intellectual Property Department, but effective protection of our extensive portfolio of IP assets involves working with patent and trademark offices across the globe.

ŠKODA AUTO’s IP Department’s activities are wide-ranging. They include evaluating and assessing the most appropriate IP strategy for a given innovation, product or service, preparing and filing applications for patents, trademarks and designs, and managing associated procedures.

The IP Department manages the company’s licensing activities both in relation to technology licensing and for promotional purposes. It also plays an active role in terms of monitoring and tracking any misuse of the company’s IP assets through a comprehensive product and brand protection program.

In recent years, a...

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