Transfer of expertise
NIPO is part of the Norwegian innovation system through the management and passing-on of knowledge of intellectual property rights and assets. We have management indicators that measure how we contribute to the two management dimensions of transfer of expertise to selected target groups and IPR maturity among Norwegian users.
Range of courses offered
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 the enhancement of skills for professionals.
We held a total of 31 events in 2017, including the half-day World Intellectual Property Day, a global event under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). We also held several events linked to the Oslo Innovation Week, where we reached out to new customer groups. A total of 1,693 people attended our events, which is around 20% more than in 2016. Of these, 531 took part through streaming. Streaming means that more people can take part regardless of geographical location, and we have had participants from all parts of the country, as well as some from Asia and South America.
We always measure the impact of our events. This is done through the participants' own assessment of how useful the course was and whether they can make use of the knowledge they have gained. In 2017, the average participant experienced usefulness of 3.6, above the target of 3.5 (on a scale from 1 to 4, where 4 is the highest). In addition, just over 90% responded that they can make use of the knowledge gained in their daily jobs, which is above the target of 85%.
Activities aimed at specific groups
NIPO has an action plan for transferring expertise to priority target groups. These are:
- the higher education sector
- public entities concerned with innovation
- industry organisations
- business gardens and incubators
Working with these target groups supports the objective of better use of intellectual property.
Cooperation with business gardens and incubators (the SIVA network)
Various activities were carried out in 2017 to raise expertise on IPR among incubators, business gardens and knowledge parks in the SIVA network. We have taken part in various events under the auspices of SIVA to disseminate knowledge and make ourselves known.
We regularly market our courses and breakfast meetings to enterprises in the network, and find that ever increasing numbers are attending these events. In 2017 we also offered a specially adapted talk on business development and IPR in the business plan. This was streamed and reached almost all Norwegian counties.
We held 12 "starting and running a business" days in cooperation with the Brønnøysund Register Centre and NORID at several places in Norway. Two of these events were held in cooperation with the Nordhordland business garden and the Nyskapingsparken innovation park in Bergen.
On behalf of SIVA's partner networks, the business garden Fabrikken Næringshage has developed an "Entrepreneur Academy", an online resource base aimed at entrepreneurs throughout the country. NIPO was invited to contribute technical content, and in 2017 produced seven films that are available to the whole network.
Cooperation with clusters
In 2017 we strengthened our cooperation with the Norwegian Centres of Expertise (the NCE clusters) and the Arena clusters. We offer IPR knowledge in the form of courses, workshops and talks, and in 2017 we presented our range of services to all the project managers in the clusters. Among specific events, we can mention the Workshop for NCE Maritime Cleantech (NCE cluster) with the topic of IPR in our own projects, and breakfast seminars with the Norwegian Fashion Hub (Arena cluster) focusing on trademarks and designs.
We find that IPR maturity and needs for services vary between the different clusters. We must therefore adapt the activities to different needs and levels of knowledge among businesses. This means close dialogue with each individual cluster and cluster leader to provide a good range of offerings their businesses can benefit from. We were also in dialogue with Innovation Norway in 2017 in order to establish a common arrangement with the clusters in cooperation with their IPR teams.
Cooperation with trade and industry organisations
Another important target group for cooperation and skills transfer is trade and industry organisations. They represent a number of industries and companies that work on research and development, and that could potentially make better use of IPR to strengthen competitive positions and achieve greater growth.
We strengthened our cooperation with trade and industry organisations in 2017. Among other things, we gave talks and attended several events under the auspices of the Federation of Norwegian Industries (Industri Futurum, TEKMAR, Verftskonferansen (shipyard conference) and Designindustrikonferansen (design industry conference)) and the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, in addition to participating in a panel during the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) conference on creative subjects in education.
Cooperation with the relevant public entitities
NIPO has cooperation agreements with Innovation Norway, the Research Council of Norway, SIVA and the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (DOGA). In addition, we have extensive cooperation with the Brønnøysund Register Centre and Altinn. Together with our partners, we carry out various activities aimed at joint target groups to contribute to increased innovativeness through competence building, information and guidance.
In 2017 we launched the service navnesok.no in cooperation with the Brønnøysund Register Centre and NORID, the registry for Norwegian domain names, and we arranged the World Intellectual Property Day in cooperation with DOGA. Other cooperative activities in 2017 were the "starting and running a business" days, a seminar in cooperation with Innovation Norway and Abelia during Oslo Innovation Week, internal training for the Research Council of Norway's BIA and SkatteFUNN employees and a seminar at Aqua Nor with contributions from the Research Council of Norway and DOGA. Together with Norwegian Customs we conducted a campaign at the travel fair on the topic of Buy Real.
Different parts of the public support structure for innovation have different tasks. It is therefore at times challenging to cooperate with the different actors on IPR, as they may have different priorities and objectives. Correct use of IPR is normally not an indicator that is used in connection with the evaluation of tools, or for applications for innovation support and grants.
We wish to stand out as coordinated actors with a combined offering to our customers. In our efforts to formulate NIPO's strategy for 2018-2002, we had good discussions with Innovation Norway, the Brønnøysund Register Centre, the Research Council of Norway, DOGA and SIVA. We received many useful suggestions, including how we can further develop the cooperative ventures in the future.
Talks and events
In 2017, NIPO gave 78 talks to educational institutions in the higher education sector, the public innovation support structure, clusters, trade and industry organisations, incubators/business gardens and others, to a total attendance of 2800. In the higher education sector we gave talks on intellectual property rights and specific topics such as searching in databases, employee inventions and licensing. Participants included students in industrial economics and technology management at NTNU Trondheim, as well as engineering and entrepreneurship studies at NTNU Ålesund, BI and Kristiania University College. More than 92% of the participants we asked were highly satisfied and were able to make use of what they learned about IPR. This feedback confirms that NIPO is a sought-after supplier of IPR knowledge to trade and industry and to research and educational institutions.
We also contribute with knowledge transfer at conferences, seminars and trade fairs. We gave guidance to customers at stands at 28 events in 2017. In addition, we took part in 85 different events to inform and guide, to link networks to strategic partners and to take part in relevant panel discussions. Our customers are satisfied that we are accessible, and the customer survey showed that they benefit greatly from the knowledge we pass on.
Places in Norway where we have contributed to the transfer of knowledge on IPR:
Patentstyret.no is our most important channel of communication. Its intention is to provide transfer of expertise to both new visitors without prior knowledge and those with more experience of the field. At the end of 2016 we launched a new website 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 show in a more understandable way how the search processes are structured. The goal is to contribute to more good rights for Norwegian trade and industry.
There were a total of 245,000 visits to the websites in 2017, a slight decrease on the previous year. The decline is due in part to a restructuring of the website pages and a change in the way we measure through Google Analytics. 45% were first-time visitors. The customer survey shows that around 92% of those who applied for rights visited the website, and 87% found the information they needed. These figures have been stable for a number of years.
NIPO uses Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to reach out to various people who have an interest in our field, for example entrepreneurs, specialists in various innovation environments, IPR experts and journalists. These are important channels intended to bring more visitors to the websites patentstyret.no and velgekte.no (buy real), and to boost the impact of other activities we undertake alone or together with partners. In addition, we reach out to important opinion formers. We had a total of 12,840 followers in these channels at the end of the year. Many of our news stories have been liked, shared and commented, and as a result have reached even more people.
Editorial mentions in the media are the most effective tool for anyone who is engaged in communication. We therefore respond to enquiries and initiate stories to the press. NIPO was mentioned in 476 news stories in 2017, an increase of 34% from 2016. Nearly a third of these were in nationwide media. NIPO spokespersons were quoted in 29% of the articles.
When we appear in news items that are picked up by news agencies and newspaper syndications, we can make a particularly great impact in the media picture. Examples of such cases in 2017 were REMA 1000's trademark "Æ", the trademark dispute over the Vigeland works of art, the tourist attraction Trollpikken as a trademark and the name conflict in the band Highasakite. Press releases concerning the name search service Navnesøk and a Christmas campaign concerning the purchasing of pirate copies online also resulted in many newspaper articles.
When looking at a ranking of the media channels that mentioned us most often, we can see that we reach out to both broad and relevant target groups through editorial features. Norway's most visited websites, VG.no and NRK.no, are within our top five. The paper and online versions of Dagens Næringsliv are in third and eighth place respectively. Several of our press releases were also presented as main news items, in both nationwide radio and television broadcasts.
Customer service centre
NIPO's customer service centre in 2017 answered over 8,900 telephone enquiries and around 1,100 e-mails and received around 160 visitors who had questions about intellectual property rights. Answered telephone enquiries have risen by around 27% since 2016, and the number e-mail enquiries increased greatly in comparison with 2016. We are witnessing a positive trend towards customers to a far greater degree than previously returning with new questions after their first enquiry.
60% of all enquires to the Customer service centre are concerned with trademarks, 20% are linked to patents and 20% are enquiries concerning designs or other questions. Customers receive answers to questions about application processes, regulations, international application schemes, what other actors in the innovation system they can obtain guidance from etc. The customer satisfaction survey shows that the customers are particularly satisfied with the guidance they receive. On a scale of 1 to 4, where 4 is best, the customer service centre gained a total score of 3.72. 95% of those questioned are satisfied.
We expanded the capacity of the Customer service centre in 2017 by adding more specialist staff. Everyone who works there has taken part in training in the commercial use of IPR to improve the quality of the guidance given based on the customer's needs, and they also attended a course in good customer dialogue.
Buyreal.no (velgekte.no) and Authorities Network against Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights
In 2015 Norwegian authorities established the Authorities Network against Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights and set up the website velgekte.no, called buyreal.no in English. NIPO acts as the secretariat for the network and runs the website. The network consists of ten different authorities. NIPO holds regular network meetings, and in 2017 we continued to work on making people aware of piracy and trademark counterfeiting.
Among other things, we conducted a Christmas campaign on Facebook together with Norwegian Customs and the Norwegian Consumer Authority, with advertisements aimed at online traders. The message was that pirate copies should be avoided, because they can be harmful and are often financed by organised criminals. We reached a total of more than 354,000 people with this campaign.
Illustrations from the Christmas campaign on Facebook:
We issued a press release and worked actively on the media to attract as much attention as possible to the topic. We gained good coverage by the major media houses such as TV2, Dagens Næringsliv, Nyhetsmorgen on NRK Radio and in a number of regional newspapers. Altogether we were featured 37 times. It is anticipated that some of those exposed to the message will change behaviour and avoid pirated goods in the future. The message was further reinforced by Norwegian Customs running a nationwide campaign in which it attached stickers to 10,000 packages urging people to avoid pirated goods. This attracted good media attention.
NIPO regularly updates the website velgekte.no (buyreal.no) with news and other relevant information. The website received 1,160 visits in 2017. Visitor numbers increase substantially when we run campaigns and attract media attention. This shows how important it is to continue working to draw attention to problems related to piracy and trademark counterfeiting.