Case study 4

Client profile

A Fortune 500 medical devices company asked us to help identify a transition strategy to help move an industry with a highly proprietary and litigious culture toward a more open cross-licensing approach

Business situation

The client was concerned that R&D resources were invested into inventing around other incumbents, rather than on innovations to meet end-user needs. As a result key market niches remain unexplored, whilst regulatory pressure increased. Key questions posed by our client were:
  • Evidence that the industry is ripe for change?
  • What are the Pro’s and con’s for moving to a cross-licensing approach, based on other industry experience?
  • What scenarios can be identified, resulting from a move to a cross-licensing regime?
  • How to initiate change toward a cross-licensing regime?

CambridgeIP's approach

  • We analysed patent related activity in the client industry and a comparator industry to reveal innovation trends, providing empirical evidence of the gap in innovativeness and increasing litigation risk in the client’s space.
  • A series of interviews with experts and senior executives from the client’s and comparator industries helped relate the risks and benefits of moving to a cross-licensing approach.
  • We developed a ‘checklist’ of indicators for pressures of change, as well as strategic considerations that support a move towards a cross-licensing & standardisation regime.
  • We also developed a sequencing strategy aimed at preserving our clients industry leadership and protect traditional revenue sources during transition to the new regime.

Results and benefits

  • Our results showed the take-off in innovation rates in the comparator industry after the introduction of industry-wide licensing agreements.
  • We also compared patent citation rates and showed an increasing inter-relatedness of technology in the clients space relative to the comparator space: increasing litigation risk in the absence of licensing agreements.
  • Our client is using our outputs to build internal and external stakeholder support for the proposed cross-licensing regime

Sample benchmark    Sample benchmark 2

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