Christian Bürkert GmbH & Co. KG won this year's IP Management Award for intellectual property. With this award the Fraunhofer IAO Institute for Industrial Engineering distinguishes companies, now for the fourth time, for their sustainable, well-aimed patent management. The award was presented on 7 March 2012 at the annual convention for patent experts "Patente 2012" in Munich.
"The successful protection of our intellectual property is an essential aspect of our research and development work in the Bürkert Group. Like everyone else, we are not immune to product piracy and are all too familiar with the illegal copies of our valves, sensors and controllers. Therefore this award pleases me all the more, since it enables us to respond accordingly and defend ourselves. But above all, the award is a compliment on the first-rate work and commitment of our employees," says Heribert Rohrbeck, Managing Director of Christian Bürkert GmbH & Co. KG.
This year, 48 companies competed for the IP Management Award. All applicants had to answer questions about their monitoring and defence systems, the research network, invention assessment and evaluation system, integration of IP in corporate policy and its significance for the business development. Only companies that had achieved significant results with their IP management and overall high level of patent management in the past eight years were short-listed for the award.
The jury agreed quickly this year, as Truong Le of the Frauenhofer IAO reports: "The decision of the jury this year was made quickly, since one of the companies participating in the past few years developed a very high repertoire of IP measures. Bürkert wins this year's award with a considerable lead, having been awarded first place by five of the six jurors, who could make out only minor shortcomings."
Bürkert's Director of IP Management is Dr. Gertrud Eppler. "Our IP strategy is oriented toward optimal product protection and we determinedly pursue patent and trademark infringements on an international level. The IP Management Award is a great distinction for our daily work and shows that we are very well positioned," Dr. Eppler explains.
Continued success is in Bürkert's blood
A prerequisite for successful IP management is close cooperation with the research and development department. In this area Bürkert is again a leader in the industry. "We are never satisfied with the status quo and are constantly on the lookout for new technologies and solutions for our customers. We see our investments as a reinvestment in the future of fluid technology, which more than 150 employees are working on in our research centers in Germany and France," Heribert Rohrbeck explains. Since the autumn of 2008 Bürkert also has a research cooperation with the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology. The two partners maintain a joint lab, the "Bürkert Technology Center" (BTC) at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology. The BTC is based at the Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT) at the Karlsruhe Research Center, which shares premises with the Faculty of Engineering of Karlsruhe University.
From left: Truong Le (Fraunhofer IAO), Dr. Helmut Appel (Fraunhofer IAO), Dr. Gertrud Eppler (Director IP Management, Bürkert), Dr. Dieter Binz (Director Research and Development, Bürkert)