Industrial property has been a pillar of Minalogic's long-term development strategy since the cluster was founded in 2005.
Minalogic Chief Representative Jean Chabbal explained, "Industrial property has always been at the core of our strategy. The cluster simply could not exist if we did not have successful mechanisms in place to protect our members' innovations and successfully transfer them to the market. SMEs in the Rhône-Alpes region help fuel the growth of our local ecosystem by developing technological innovations for target markets-innovations that generate revenue and create jobs."
Minalogic offers members several resources for protecting their innovations and ensuring data security
• Codendi collaborative workspace
Minalogic has been using the Codendi collaborative workspace for the majority of its projects since 2006, due to Codendi's ability to protect sensitive data. This collaborative workspace aligns the software used by project teams and provides access-from a single user interface-to all the tools that software developers need for tasks ranging from source code administration and task management to debugging, document management, and project team communication and collaboration.
Several Minalogic members, including Schneider Electric, STMicroelectronics, Sorin Group, and Orange Labs, use Codendi for their in-house project management and software development. Minalogic's Coordination Unit also uses Codendi to manage sensitive documents and centralize member and project databases. 58 projects and 1,537 users are currently registered on the Codendi platform.
• Industrial property training
Minalogic has offered industrial property training since 2008. This training is designed to inform project teams about the legal, contractual, and organizational issues related to industrial property. The training sessions are facilitated by a lawyer specialized in contract law and new technology. Nine training sessions were given in 2011 covering the main aspects of industrial property, including the protection of industrial property and concepts developed during the project phase. The training sessions are given in association with three other Rhône-Alpes region competitive clusters (Axelera, Lyonbiopôle, and Tenerrdis), and receive French government funding.
• Free preliminary IP audit by the INPI, and discounted rates on INPI consulting and training
The preliminary IP audit offered by the INPI is designed to help companies pinpoint their IP needs. This often involves identifying a company's in-house know-how, outlining the main employees involved in IP, determining the company's IP-related costs, and drafting a list of action items. In addition to a preliminary IP audit, the INPI also offers comprehensive consulting services to help Minalogic SMEs and start-ups protect their intellectual property. These consulting services include developing an effective plan for protecting the intellectual property related to a specific project, such as a new product launch.
• Legal assistance for negotiating and drafting a Consortium Agreement
Some French government agencies require that companies submit a Consortium Agreement to apply for project funding. This agreement-which must be drawn up within the first year of a project-specifies which innovations will be developed by each partner in a given project, and how the associated industrial property rights will be distributed among the project partners. Minalogic provides members with legal assistance and model Consortium Agreements and confidentiality agreements.
To date, Minalogic has filed 83 patent applications with the INPI for 14 projects completed after three years of development work. The cluster is a key contributor to industrial innovation in the Rhône-Alpes region, home to 15% of all patent applications filed in France.