Transfer of expertise
- Range of courses
- Activities aimed at specific groups
- Digital channels
- Traditional media
- Information centre and customer centre
- Buyreal.no - government agencies against IPR infringement
Range of courses
The courses offered by NIPO are targeted both at people with little or no previous knowledge of the field and at professionals. The purpose of the courses is to increase knowledge of intellectual property rights and assets in Norwegian trade and industry and to contribute to enhancement of skills for the professionals.
We reached 12,000 people through the discussion programme Patentering versus forskning (Patenting versus Research), which was broadcast on the Knowledge Channel of the national broadcaster NRK in October – mainly people with a low level of knowledge of the topic. The programme will be available online on NRK net-tv for five years, and in the longer term will therefore reach even more people.
In 2016 we held a total of 29 courses, including the half-day programme World Intellectual Property Day, a global event under the auspices of WIPO. A total of 1395 people took part in our events, 648 of them via streaming. Streaming enables more people to take part regardless of geography, and we have had participants from Kristiansand in the south to Longyearbyen in the north.
We always measure how the participants themselves assess utility, and whether they are able to make use of the knowledge they have acquired from the courses. The average utility score in 2016 was 3.6, above the target of 3.5 (on a scale of 1 to 4, where 4 is highest). In addition, an average of 90% responded that they are able to make use of the knowledge they gain in their daily work, well above the target of 85%.
Activities aimed at specific groups
In its letter of allocation for 2016, NIPO was asked to present and follow up an action plan with specific activities based on the analysis of priorities from 2015 and available resources. The target groups in the action plan are the higher education sector, policy instrument actors, trade and industry organisations, clusters and incubators/"business gardens". The work aimed at these target groups is to provide support under the objective of better use of intellectual property assets.
Business gardens, incubators and clusters
At the beginning of 2016 we established a project to survey skills-building and awareness-creating measures among defined actors in the SIVA network. We wish to prioritise incubators and business gardens because they have the task of promoting industrial innovation. In many cases, knowledge of appropriate use of intellectual property rights in their chains of value and in their areas of business will be essential for the creation of value.
In 2016 we carried out studies to survey needs and levels of knowledge, took part in events under the auspices of SIVA and held meetings with various business gardens and incubators.
In addition, we received useful information from the Swedish Patent and Registration Office, which has worked purposefully with equivalent actors for more than three years. Against this backdrop, we have assessed the need and what kind of measures we can offer. Among practical activities, we can mention free provision of places on courses for all incubators and talks for the Protomore knowledge park in Molde.
We have chosen to work together with the clusters at the Norwegian Centres of Excellence (the NCE clusters) in 2016 and 2017. We believe that there is great potential for cooperation with these clusters, because they contain established businesses that are occupied with IPR and are in a position to increase expertise in the area. We offer skills transfer in the form of courses and talks, and in 2016 attended conferences and gave talks in several clusters. Among other things, we had a preparatory meeting with NCE Maritime Cleantech before Christmas in order to identify their need for skills and offer a tailored course in January 2017. We have also compiled a list of different modules of talks we present to the businesses, either on our own or in cooperation with authorised representatives and other external contributors.
Talks and events
In 2016, representatives of NIPO gave 64 talks for educational institutions (universities and colleges), policy instrument actors, incubators/business gardens, clusters, trade and industry organisations and others, with a total of more than 2 150 participants. We gave talks for the higher education sector on topics such as patents, trademarks, designs, patent databases, employees' inventions and copyright. The target groups for these included master's students and PhD students in innovation and business development at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), students in mechanical, electronic and chemical engineering at Oslo and Akershus University College and students of technology and entrepreneurship at the University of Agder.
Our target is for more than 85% of participants to be very satisfied and think that the talks are very useful for their work. The target was reached, and this supports our role as a supplier of knowledge to trade and industry and the research and educational institutions.
Conferences, seminars and trade fairs are other areas in which we contribute knowledge transfer and create increased awareness of IPR. We had stands at 28 events, mainly under the policy instrument system and selected trade and industry organisations. In addition, we attended 74 other events to inform and guide customers and potential customers and took part in relevant panel discussions. We have received positive feedback indicating that we are more accessible than in the past, and the customer survey shows that the customers benefit greatly from the knowledge we pass on.
Cooperation with the policy implementation actors
NIPO has cooperation agreements with Innovation Norway, the Norwegian Research Council, Siva and the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (DOGA). We carry out activities annually for joint target groups to contribute to competence building and information.
In 2016 we carried out a project of our own in cooperation with Innovation Norway to analyse the need for a combined guidance and advice service in intellectual property assets and rights.
In addition to this, we can highlight cooperation activities such as the "Start and run a business" days under the Brønnøysund Register Centre, the "Opportunities for trade and industry in Horizon 2020" event under the Norwegian Research Council and Transform (previously the Design Day) under DOGA. We attended one trade fair - the "Buy Real" campaign together with the Customs Directorate at the Reiselivsmessen (Travel Industry Fair) and had stands at several large conferences. In addition, we spoke at events under the auspices of Innovation Norway and Siva.
We find that cooperating with the different policy implementation actors sometimes poses a challenge as they often have different priorities than we do. At the same time, there is little measurement of how intellectual property rights and assets are taken into account when they allocate support and grants to their customers. It is also possible to become better at appearing as coordinated actors with an integrated service to customers. The project mentioned above with Innovation Norway also indicates that trade and industry considers it difficult to get an overview of who does what in different phases of the innovation process.
Assessment of a combined guidance service
Innovation Norway and NIPO in 2016 jointly assessed the need for a combined guidance and advisory service in intellectual property assets and rights. In order to survey the challenges and needs of trade and industry in this area, the project group emphasised findings from various questionnaire-based surveys and input from relevant stakeholders. Measures and experience from other countries have also been studied and discussed.
Two principal challenges were identified for the target group which includes enterprises with a low level of maturity concerning intellectual property rights:
- lack of knowledge of intellectual property assets and rights
- lack of overview of who can provide advice and guidance in different phases of the innovation process
The project therefore proposed to address two needs: the need for an overview of sources of support, and the need to strengthen skills and expertise.
Instead of gathering guidance and advice together at existing or new actors, it may be more appropriate to coordinate and enhance the existing services. Obtaining a good overview of both private and public actors, what role they play with regard to IPR and what they specifically offer in the innovation processes is proposed as an important measure so that enterprises and entrepreneurs will more easily find their way and know whom they should contact.
The project group considered that public guidance and advice on intellectual property assets and rights should be provided through the policy instrument actors that exist today. It is also possible through innovators, clusters and others to use customer guides and other key resources with which the enterprise is nevertheless in contact. It is therefore important to improve training for those providing guidance within this area.
In addition, the project group proposed increasing the number of courses and using more resources on guiding the business sector. When providing skills-enhancing measures priority should be given to those who know least about intellectual property assets and rights. The subject should also be included to a greater extent in relevant study programmes at upper secondary schools, colleges and universities.
The NIPO website is our most important communication channel. We aim to ensure the transfer of skills both to new guests without previous knowledge and to those who have more experience of our specialist field. There were a total of 279 000 visits to the website pages in 2016. Around half of those who visited the website were new guests. Customer surveys show that around 95% of those who are searching for rights visit the website, and 87% find the information they need.
We launched a new website in October 2016 with functionality adapted to new technology and new user requirements. The contents are designed to show to a greater extent than previously that intellectual property rights are an integral part of the innovation process and that they should be linked to the business strategy. We wish to increase knowledge of different types of intellectual property rights and contribute to more good rights for Norwegian trade and industry.
NIPO uses Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to reach out to different target groups that have an interest in our specialist field, for example entrepreneurs, specialists in various innovation environments, IPR experts and journalists. These are important channels that are intended to draw people to patentstyret.no and velgekte.no/buyreal.no, and to increase the effect of other activities we perform alone or with partners. In addition, in this way we reach out to important opinion-formers. We had a total of 11 000 followers in these channels at the end of 2016, and many of our news items have been liked, shared and/or commented on.
Customer use of registers and databases
All publicly available applications and rights are accessible through the NIPO database online. We can see that Norwegian and foreign enterprises need this type of information. They make active use of this tool to obtain information and guidance concerning rights and applications that may have an impact on their investments. The number of visits to the search pages (search.patentstyret.no) has increased by 25% in the past two years, and stood at 232 000 in 2016. Ever greater numbers return to make new searches, and the number of users who have visited the pages more than 200 times during the course of 9 months has risen by 85% since 2014. At the same time, we are seeing an increase in new users, and alerts in particular can be emphasised, with 60% more users than in 2015. We can see from the customer surveys that 7 out every 10 used the search for guidance before or after filing an application at NIPO.
Editorial mentions in the media are the most valuable tool for anyone engaged in communication. We therefore respond to enquiries and take initiatives on cases in relation to the press. In 2016, NIPO was mentioned in 354 articles and news items, and half of these were in nationwide media. In 36% of these cases, NIPO spokespersons were quoted.
News and press releases that are picked up by the news agencies and passed on by Norwegian newspaper editorial offices can have a particularly great impact in the media picture. Examples of such cases in 2016 were the dispute over the "potetgull" trademark, legal cases concerning the salmon lice patent granted to Baard Johnnessen, and an information campaign against buying pirated products, where contact and cooperation with the press was a key element in the planning process.
The fact that we reach out to both broad and relevant targets through editorial mentions is shown by the ranking of which media channels mentioned us most often last year: top is nrk.no (the second-most visited website in Norway, according to TNS Gallup), with the newspapers Dagens Næringsliv and Finansavisen in second and third place.
Information centre and customer centre
The NIPO information centre answered nearly 7000 phone calls and around 600 emails in 2016, and received around 200 visits with questions concerning intellectual property rights. Telephone enquiries fell by 14% in comparison with 2015, while email enquires increased by around 20%. We see that customers still wish to have direct dialogue with NIPO, even though these use both our websites and our databases. Customers receive answers to various questions concerning application processes, regulations, international application schemes and other actors they can obtain guidance from in the innovation process. We contribute to increasing expertise on intellectual property assets and rights, and help customers to make progress in using industrial property rights. In the longer term, this will contribute to more good rights for Norwegian trade and industry.
Buyreal.no - government agencies against IPR infringement
In 2015, Norwegian government agencies created a network against infringement of intellectual property rights and established the website velgekte.no, called buyreal.no in English.
NIPO acts as the secretariat for the network and runs the website. In 2016, the Consumer Ombudsman also became a part of the network of government agencies, joining the other nine agencies. Together with the network, we continued work on creating awareness of piracy and counterfeiting in 2016. Here are some of the measures we have taken:
- advertising on Finn.no, campaign with the Directorate of Norwegian Customs at Rygge Airport, advertising on screens on Flytoget airport express trains, and taking part in the travel industry trade fair Reiselivsmessen 2016 together with the Directorate of Norwegian Customs (these activities all had the purpose of making consumers (travellers) aware of problems in buying pirated copies on holiday abroad)
- a stand at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva, were we presented the Norwegian awareness-creating measures to other countries
NIPO regularly updates the website with news and other relevant information. In 2016, large parts of the website were translated into English under the name buyreal.no. The object was to make the content more readily available to more people, including the partners we cooperate with, who work on the same problems in other countries. The website has a consumer profile, but also has content aimed at trade and industry, government agencies and the media. As in 2015, we again saw in 2016 that velgekte.no (buyreal.no) is an important source of information for the media when piracy and counterfeiting are mentioned.
There was a decrease in the number of visits to velgekte.no in 2016 (2312), compared with the launch year of 2015 (9165, and 2261 of these on the launch day). This was due to specific attention around the launch in 2015 and a greater number of visitors as it was something new. Visitor numbers rise considerably when we take campaign actions and receive media attention. This shows how important it is for us to continue the work of drawing attention to problems relating to piracy and counterfeiting.