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Patents

05/25/2016 - 04:00 PM

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Patents play a key role in the development of a country: they stimulate innovation, as well as providing practical benefits for individual consumers and citizens.

What is a patent? ‘A patent safeguards and promotes a technical innovation, product or process providing a solution to a specific technological problem. A patent assigns a temporary monopoly of use of the object the patent itself is concerned with, consisting of exclusive rights of production, employment and commercial use, forbidding those same activities to unauthorised subjects.’ (MISE)

Patents, thus, are an incentive to individuals: both a form of recognition for their creative skills and of financial compensation for their efforts in producing ‘saleable’ inventions. Such incentives encourage progress, which in turn increases the quality of life, by constantly renewing the offer of innovative products and services.

Patents are important assets to a country system, for two reasons:
-    Patenting promotes the diffusion of knowledge, through publications and licensing;
-    Patenting helps companies to grow by turning their innovations into revenue.

Our Patents project represents a continued effort on TIM’s part that unfolds across a variety of processes, involving several business functions. Its aim is to promote, support and highlight the patenting activity taking place within our company and – thanks to our collaboration with universities – in the country at large.

The innovation areas of the TILAB and Strategy and Innovation functions are among the most important contributors to our company’s patenting activity. Often they work in partnership with the most important Italian universities, bringing new stimuli into patenting production on a national level. Within this framework, the Legal Affairs function offers support to patent devising, thanks to a team of experts who are involved in the research alongside inventors. Together, they explore the originality and patentability of an idea and follow its entire life cycle, from when it’s filed with the European Patent Office to when it is eventually employed in other countries, as well as its earning potential.

By the end of 2015 TIM had developed a portfolio of 3,143 company-owned patents, including 650 patents filed, consolidating the growing trend of the last 3 years.

Patenting areas include the ITC department (network quality, enabling technology, multimedia, data analytics, service concepts), excelling particularly in the mobile department, which earned TIM the 6th place in the world and the 2nd in Europe in patenting rankings.

Thanks to this process, today 14 original TIM patents represent essential components in standard technology, i.e. LTE radiomobile technology, MPEG encoding, GPON optical fibre networks and IP networks.

Similar stimuli towards patenting and its crucial role are making their way to Brasil, with the inception of a new forum on excellence and innovation in the context of TIM Brasil.

TIM People Value has also chosen to reward efforts made towards patenting so far by awarding prizes to the authors of approved patents each year and of patents filed in the year before. Since 2013, Patent Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the effort of the best TIM researchers, in line with the company’s policy of putting innovation first. The event also represents a unique chance to converse around the theme of innovation and patent production, which extends to the top levels of the company and involves key personalities of the international scene and the specialised press.

The ‘Inventors’ Club’ was also devised as an intranet networking tool, aimed at connecting inventors, so that they can communicate, exchange information or check on the status of their patent applications. The portal allows researchers to keep up to date on all the latest innovations, events and company patents.

Finally, TIM has joined the LTE patent pool, alongside other companies that own key patents concerning that technology, with the aim to strike a balance between fair remuneration for participating businesses and low costs for 4th generation terminals. TIM’s efforts in promoting the accessibility of next generation devices have been relentless: TIM presides to the operations of the international NGMN 5G IPR FORUM in a chairman role, joining other businesses in laying the foundations for licencing 5th generation terminals, setting transparent and predictable guidelines with a view to benefitting customers and ensuring widespread diffusion.