In today’s highly competitive environment, companies in the automotive industry are seeking to secure their innovations and are capitalizing on the value of their patents and designs to the maximum. Consequently, automotive manufacturers and suppliers are among the most prolific patent and design filers in Germany.
Last week’s Autorecht conference organized by the University of Augsburg, Faculty of Law focused on the legal aspects currently facing the automotive parts industry, such as unfair competition, antitrust law as well as trademark law.
A topic that stirs controversy in Germany and Europe - which was also brought into discussion during the conference - is related to the limits of IP protection for auto part designs. The implications of the new German Design Law that came into force at the beginning of this year were also discussed.
Dr. Nowak’s speech emphasized the increased importance for companies to assess the value of intellectual property assets, allowing them to carefully plan financial and strategic decisions and avoid investment risks. While in the past IP valuations were rarely performed only for specific purposes such as accounting, in the past few years in connection with the globalized international context where companies need to constantly invest in R&D to create innovation, such assessments are becoming more and more common.
The lecture also touched on the triggers for increased IP valuation demand and the various situations when IP valuations are a necessity, such as M&A, licensing-in/out, IP transactions, (re)financing and accounting.