Innovation & IP Asset Consulting
Convergence for divergent trends

Germany lags behind global innovation leaders at the 12th place

Bildschirmfoto 2016-01-25 um 10.38.26The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a U.S. think tank on technology policy, delivered its ranking of more than 50 countries concerning their impact on global innovation. The report considers worldwide per capita contribution for supporting innovation. The researchers considered both the funding allocated for research and education as well as the structure of the tax system in the chosen countries. Environment and conditions that could adversely impact innovative capacity were penalized by point deduction. Among other factors, a weak patent system had a negative result on the score. The final ranking was between 15.6 points for the worldwide innovation leader Finland and negative 20.1 points for Argentina. Sweden and the UK followed close behind Finland. Austria was ninth in the ranking. Germany scored 9.4 points landing on the twelfth place, with Switzerland settling for the twentieth place. The U.S. reached a modest tenth place. Germany benefited not from a direct promotion of innovation, but rather from a good legal and political framework. Switzerland was downgraded due to what the researchers viewed as obstructive regulations – as for innovation promotion, it scored higher than Germany.

Stellbrink IP sees this as another warning sign that innovation landscape in Germany needs to be actively supported.

Third largest german automotive supplier ZF seeks to expand

The third largest German automotive supplier ZF headquartered in Friedrichshafen is in talks with the American automotive supplier TRW about a possible takeover. As the world’s largest independent transmission manufacturer, ZF is not listed on the stock exchange, but currently in possession of the owner. However, ZF would not only catch up to its greatest competitor Continental and Bosch, but with TRW, its core business, fill a gap especially in the areas of electronics with video and radar systems. The CEO Stefan Sommer is anticipating to compete alongside the Internet giant Google for the promising future to develop autonomous driving technology. Google already started the race with his prototype Aptera, which was previously reported by Stellbrink IP extensively on May 28th.  Read the Rest


Tokyo, July 2014: Already  in the upcoming spring, the car manufacturer Toyota wants to sell its fuel cell-car and start exporting to USA and Europe in the summer. The starting price is cheaper than expected at around € 60,000. With extensive subsidies and tax breaks, the Japanese government wants to ensure that the market shares are backed up early and its auto industry stays highly competitive. In parallel, the current high production costs shall be significantly reduced by 2025, as well as the infrastructure being  further defined.  Read the Rest


Opposition is stirred against the digital revolution. For example, German Amazon employees in distribution centers or even taxi drivers, are resisting the placement of private chauffeurs through apps. It is very difficult to find the golden mean in the discussion about what is technically possible and socially desirable. On the one hand it is critical to question how far companies submit to the progress, but on the other hand, they must stay competitive, especially to China, Korea or the U.S. in order to continue to guarantee prosperity. It is therefore advisable to at least pro-actively pursue modernization and innovations as well as, to increase the pace of adaptability, if necessary.  Read the Rest


In German litigation cases it is common, for the unsuccessful party to bear the costs of the procedure as well of the prevailing party (known in English “fee shifting”), which has so far only been done in extremely rare cases in the United States. As a matter of fact, even the presumably prevailing party, for economic reasons, usually compares themselves to the expected unsuccessful party. Since legal procedure costs are much higher in America than in Germany, which bothers most companies, has this so far led to billion-dollar costs and has mainly been exploited by so-called “trolls”.  Read the Rest


Mountain View, May 2014: the Internet giant Google introduces a completely new idea with its prototype of a self-navigating car. So far, only modifications of existing vehicles were tested, in which the driver could still intervene. For Google, however, it is now a matter of pure transport: No steering wheel or brake, even no mirrors are available, only a start-stop button. So, the driver should not be able to intervene and merely have the option.

This car is designed purely for city traffic, can distinguish between pedestrians and cyclists and cannot drive faster than 40 km/h. Electronic sensors detect the complete surroundings, which also cuts the problem of the blind spot. This transformative technology actually has the potential to fundamentally redefine the transport of people and the potential utilities of vehicles in the city. As more people move to the city, local mobility must adapt to these new forms of life. In addition, the built-in technology has the potential to prevent car accidents.

Lead developer of this project is the German computer scientist Sebastian Thrun. After five years and hundreds of thousands of kilometers of testing phases, the model Aptera was presented that looks like a mix of smart and BMW Isetta with a touch of Disney design.

This is not a playground, but extremely seriously. Google is Tesla to the power of ten with the money that the search engine company has in the bank.

Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, head of the Center for Automotive Research


As William Hewlett and David Packard began to fiddle in a garage in 1939 which then resulted in a large corporation, the foundation stone of Silicon Valley was laid. Today the company is faced with enormous challenges when competitors such as Apple and Samsung are not intended to further overtake. Through constant change of strategy and massive job cuts, the top management does not contribute to strengthening the work climate, motivation, and especially the power of innovation. In order to survive in the fast growing market continues, HP needs to learn to keep pace. There is no lack of money and the investors still believe in an upswing. What is missing are new, creative, groundbreaking ideas.


In the so-called Performance Innovation Union Scoreboard 2014 for Research and Innovation, Germany still falls in the category of innovation performance well above the EU average, but slips below Sweden and Denmark at rank 3, followed by Finland. Germany’s innovative growth grew strongly while Sweden’s growth rate is almost stagnant. Only in the area of ​​the science, regarding open, excellent and attractive research systems, does Germany fall behind the average. Denmark is here above all others this year’s front-runner.

When Europe is viewed as a whole, Switzerland retains its position as the absolute leader of innovation, and in global terms South Korea, the U.S. and Japan still stand before the EU. While the EU is catching up to the U.S. and Japan, South Korea’s lead stretches even further. In international comparison, the EU, however, is still before Australia and Canada as well as in front of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). However, China is on track to close its gap of 44% of the innovation performance.

Less strong EU Member States must catch up and in a global context, the EU should not remain standing still. Above all, the culture of innovation needs to be further promoted with a focus on networking and entrepreneurship.