100th patent in three years: The result of a successful patent strategy
New inventions and the resulting patents are the basis for Maquet’s future as a leading medical technology company. These inventions help to enter new markets, to optimize the production processes or to generate synergy effects.
Just three years ago, Dr. Dieter Engel, VP Research & Development at Maquet, introduced a new patent strategy: an incentive system, linked to regular discussions amongst R&D staff and external patent experts.
Inventions for patents often occur within the framework of specific development and research projects on which, usually, multiple members of staff are working. Structured talks with staff allow the company to find out what they are currently working on and whether there may be resulting “inventions” that can be patented.
One of these inventions is the TRIMANO support arm. In late 2010, discovery activities searched for new ways to support human extremities, particularly arms. By increasing the load-bearing capability without compromising the functionality of the design, TRIMANO proved particularly efficient for shoulder operations, opening new markets for Maquet. The patent describes the special version of the TRIMANO joints. This enables TRIMANO to be locked and released, in any position, without the use of external power — even with higher weight loads. For the surgeon, this enables a variety of assisting and holding functions, which in turn save time, personnel and money. The versatile TRIMANO system offers unparalleled performance, which strengthens Maquet’s market position.
The incentive program quickly showed success: Within three years, the number of patent registrations increased. “We have already exceeded our goal with one patent per million Euro R&D investment in both 2013 and 2014,” explains Dr. Engel.