Research and innovation for companies
From an individual company’s point of view, patents are a commercial tool with which to protect investments made in research and innovation and obtain additional financial resources by managing the rights of use. In practice, a patent results in the effective enrichment of a company, in addition to strengthening its market position.
However patents are also an important asset for the country as a whole. This is essentially for two reasons:
- patenting promotes a wider dissemination of knowledge through publication;
- patenting helps companies monetise their innovations and grow.
Technical standardisation in the ICT sector is a clear synthesis of the two outcomes just described.
The Patents project is an ongoing activity for Telecom Italia and is split into numerous processes involving various company functions.
The innovation areas of the TILAB and Strategy & Innovation departments make a great contribution to producing patents for the company, often working with the best Italian universities, thus providing a stimulus for patent production across the country as well. The Legal Affairs department provides support with drafting patents, thanks to a team of experts who can investigate the originality and patentability of ideas, follow their entire life cycle and explore the monetisation opportunities.
By the end of 2015, the Group’s portfolio of patents had grown to include 33 new patents filed and dozens of other proposals undergoing assessment, strengthening a trend that has been growing over the past 3 years. The patenting areas relate to the whole ICT sector, with areas of excellence in the mobile sector.
Since 2014, a new process has been launched to enhance the patents portfolio in standards, in the knowledge that patenting and standardisation activities can interact in synergy, generating value for the community, by increasing the wealth of knowledge, and for the companies that hold the patents. Thanks to this process, 14 patents have so far become essential components of standard technologies.
- 3,143 patents owned by Telecom Italia as of December 2015 (667 filed and 476 granted),
- 33 patents granted in 2015,
- 174 patents resulting from collaboration with universities and research institutes since the collaboration was launched (1997).
A similar process of encouraging and enhancing patenting activity is also planned in Brazil, by supporting the creation of a new centre of excellence in innovation within the TIM Brasil company.
Moreover, in order to enhance the efforts made in recent years, the People Value department has implemented a policy aimed at rewarding the authors of patents granted and filed the previous year.
The Group’s commitment to technological innovation, which is manifested through its patents, is the shared heritage of a constantly evolving company.
The Social Value, which amounts to 142,000 euros, refers to the awards given to innovative employees. The Business Value, which amounts to 450,000 euros, consists of the following:
- 250,000 euros: licensing revenue from a global contract of 2.2 million euros over 4 years (2015-2018).
- 200,000 euros: revenue from compensation arising from the infringement of patent rights.
- The Telecom Italia “policy” used for patents is to use them as a measure of innovative capacity and an instrument of “defence” and “competition”. Where possible, the Group makes commercial use of patents and prefers licensing and participation in planet pools, while also resorting to sale in special cases.
- The number of employees refers to the people who developed at least one patent.