IP strategy for a start-up in the music business
HarpAd has developed a new string instrument that can be attached to a 6-string guitar and thereby temporarily convert the guitar into a 12-string. HarpAd consists of a frame with strings and tuning screws, where the frame takes the tensile load of the six strings that are placed on it. The product is attached on the guitar so that the guitar and the product’s strings form double pairs, like a regular 12-string guitar, yet without making any permanent changes to the guitar.
Sweden’s governmental innovation agency Vinnova has a program called ‘IP-check’, where start-ups may apply for financial support of up to SEK 100,000 to work with strategic matters concerning intellectual property, both registrable and non-registrable. Together with HarpAd, we worked out an application which Vinnova approved.
Our collaboration started with a joint workshop with the aim of identifying HarpAd’s intellectual property assets and creating an understanding of how these affect the company’s operations, business strategy and market position. After a number of supplementary questions, the results were delivered in a written report that included, among other things, a survey of existing intellectual property, significant contractual relationships and future opportunities for additional intellectual property rights. In addition, the report contained a second opinion on HarpAd’s existing Swedish patents and an analysis of the possibilities of having a follow-up PCT application approved in other countries.
The next step was an analysis of the surrounding world in the form of a technology search, a so-called Patent Landscape Search. The aim of the search was to find existing related patents to identify potential “road blocks” but also other actors and technical solutions that could become future partners or competitors. The analysis of the surrounding world was delivered in a written report that contained both our analysis and all relevant search results.
Based on the Status Report and the Patent Landscape Search, as well as the company’s existing intellectual property and its business model, we finally developed and drafted an IP strategy for HarpAd. The strategy contained, among other things, practical measures of a policy nature, a strategy for future registrable intellectual property rights and relevant markets, contractual matters and copyright, as well as relationships to third-party rights. The document also had a special focus on potential licensing and therefore contained both prerequisites and strategic considerations regarding a future licensing strategy.
After completing the project, HarpAd had an in-depth understanding of their most important intellectual property rights and how it affects the company’s business and strategy. In addition, they had mapped the conditions for a future licensing model.
The strategic work also led to a number of concrete measures that HarpAd chose to implement to improve its IP situation and the possibilities for licensing. Among other things, to produce a standard agreement for external collaborations and to supplement its existing protection with additional applications in patents, trademarks and design.
Groth & Co are skilled and fast in their communication. When it comes to expertise, they know how to discuss and explain the possible different outcomes, depending on which path you choose.
/ Josefin Fredén, founder, HarpAd
"Groth & Co are skilled and fast in their communication. When it comes to expertise, they know how to discuss and explain the possible different outcomes, depending on which path you choose."