June 25, 2019
A multi-purpose work machine and antiskid technologies that have revolutionised environmental management services are hit products of Idea-Keksi Oy. The novelty searches and IP valuation carried out by Kolster have played an important role in their creation. Anything less than watertight product protection will not do for the productisation company.
Established in 2016, the productisation company Idea-Keksi Oy develops products from new ideas and technologies. Idea-Keksi Oy is owned by Juhani Mantsinen, whose ideas the company refines into exportable products. Through licensing, the company commercialises, along with concrete new products, the new working methods developed with the ideas as well as the associated IP and know-how. Therefore, business is done with idea packages that enable serial manufacturing as well as new ways of working in addition to new technologies.
Idea-Keksi’s ideas are the company’s own and are not bought from elsewhere. Kolster walks alongside the company as a partner the whole time so that product development processes do not become meaningless due to shortcomings in IP.
“We connect innovations and implementers. We use 3D product design software in our work and our products can be manufactured with modern production technology. If necessary, we license products or idea packages for both companies and large service providers. Our work is based on new ideas, so taking care of product protection and understanding the world of protection with the help of Kolster’s experts is everything to us”, says Pekka Vänninmaja, CEO of Idea-Keksi Oy.
“We do not just sell products, but operating models”
The company selects ideas that significantly improve work or production processes to turn them into a product. Particular attention is paid to process efficiency, friendliness to the environment, energy efficiency and safety. However, the company does not engage in traditional product price competition. We respond to competition with the productivity increases of working methods that can be achieved through our products.
IP valuation is one essential part of product development processes. Most recently, Kolster carried out an IP valuation regarding the value of a patent portfolio related to two Idea-Keksi technologies to be licensed. The valuation involves a thorough examination of the price and commercial potential of the company and its intangible assets.
“We found a common tune in meetings where we closely reviewed Idea-Keksi’s objectives, needs and business model”, says Kolster’s IP Lawyer Hannes Kankaanpää (LLM, MSc).
According to Kankaanpää, Idea-Keksi requires that its products have a genuine, clear benefit to the end user compared to existing products.
“In the case of Idea-Keksi, the subject of the evaluation was more of a technology package that includes, in addition to registered IP, a finished or almost finished product, a lot of know-how and design material”, Kankaanpää says.
“Licensing requires a clear price for ideas”
Another technology evaluated in the valuation, the innovative tractor bucket and area plough related to antiskid measures, is registered under the brand name Jussi Mantsinen. It allows sanding and ploughing to be carried out simultaneously. This eliminates one whole work step – and the end result is as good as with a two-step job. Instead of just a plough, this is a complete antiskid system that changes the operating models of ploughing work.
”Kolster has understood well the different aspects on which the value of our products is based. Our new multi-purpose work machine can replace a number of existing machines. It reduces the load on the environment and generates efficiency gains and cost savings for the end user”, Vänninmaja says.
According to Vänninmaja, IP valuation is part of working with a good IP partner.
“Our business model is heavily based on licensing, so product and business acquisitions have a stronger basis when there is a justified price estimate for products and their productivity”, Vänninmaja says.
Idea-Keksi can use the information gained from the valuation to justify the value of its products and associated intellectual property rights. According to Kankaanpää, the information generated in the valuation can be utilised for negotiating licensing agreements for Jussi Mantsinen technologies, planning the future of the business and, if necessary, in connection with applying for funding.
“Tools from IP valuation”
Once the product concept testing with customers required by the valuation has been conducted, first versions suitable for exhibition use are manufactured of the products. Their presentation is the starting point for launching the products.
Idea-Keksi’s Jussi Mantsinen antiskid products received a commendation for new products in environmental management equipment at the MaatalousKonemessut agricultural machinery trade fair in the autumn of 2018. The products attracted the interest of many buyers of environmental management services. In business, in addition to IP protection, it is necessary to have an unbiased view of the value of the IP associated with your product and company.
“The first versions of Idea-Keksi’s products are so ready that they can immediately be fully used for the work that they have been designed for. So they are not ordinary prototypes. With start-ups, for example, the degree of readiness of the product or technology is sometimes lower, which is also one factor that affects the value of the IP”, Kolster’s IP Lawyer Hannes Kankaanpää says.
“Product protection is a prerequisite for our operations”
The cooperation between Idea-Keksi and Kolster is continuous as IP expertise plays a role in the life cycle of Idea-Keksi Oy’s products from beginning to end.
“We differ from the mainstream as we are constantly assisted by an experienced Kolster patent engineer and contact person who we work with. Product protection issues are taken care of in one go and stay under control, and they have as few known disputed points as possible”, CEO Pekka Vänninmaja says.
Both patents and utility models have been applied for to protect the company’s technologies, but Vänninmaja considers the utility model as the minimum protection for Idea-Keksi’s products. The company currently has six of them.
“However, our cooperation with Kolster starts already at the development of a product idea, at which point we implement a novelty search. We must always find out what is already protected in our chosen domain and how we can plant our new idea among the existing ones without knowingly infringing anyone. And of course, our own idea must be protected immediately”, Vänninmaja says.
IP expertise is also needed for the EPO application covering a major market area. Even after a patent has been approved, there may be situations where the patent needs to be defended or, for example, infringement lawsuits where expert assistance is required.
“New ideas create new kind of work”
The design, production and protection of ideas requires precision and multidisciplinary expertise from the company’s IP partner.
“We wanted a well-informed partner and contact person who finds the IP services that suit the needs of our business at any given time. There are not many multi-talents like Kolster in Finland”, Vänninmaja explains the multi-year partnership.
According to Vänninmaja, a good IP partner is reliable, reputable, sticks to schedules and is constantly evolving. Keeping up with the times is essential in the development of new ideas.
“For instance, participating in Kolster’s breakfast events discussing new developments is important for us. New kind of work is only created through new kinds of products – not with a cheaper price. Through creative work, we generate ideas that can be refined and new, more efficient ways of working both in the present and in the future”, Vänninmaja says.