In Europe and the United States a switch to a knowledge intensive production industry is actively pursued. Especially in these knowledge intensive branches of industry proper protection of IP is of utmost importance to get and maintain a profit-making advantage over competitors. These companies define patenting strategy's that go beyond the patent of just single products or processes. The decisions on these patenting strategies are made by specific IP departments after the development process. The main question to be answered is if a company's patent strategy is better served if the product designer can take this strategy into account during the concept development stage. This paper looks at the possibility of TRIZ as means of supporting the product designer in acquiring patent strategy data. It does so by linking a design model to TRIZ tools and methods and patenting strategies. Furthermore TRIZ is compared to generic strategies for developing a (design around) patent. It is concluded that all information is available to define the data for the patenting strategies during concept development, but that the available tools and methods are too slow. Furthermore, two important strategies for defining patens, combination and decomposition, are not properly supported by TRIZ.
- Patent protection