The following information is provided in connection with Watermark’s participation at the ConTech2016 conference held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 1 June 2016. The conference was organised by The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), which is a peak industry association in Australia which represents the interests of more than 60,000 businesses, including those in the food and confectionery sectors. Amanda Jones and Chris Vindurampulle from Watermark were invited to attend and to contribute a session on ‘safeguarding the future’ of the confectionary sector. Amanda gave a presentation focussed on strategic IP management and unlocking the power of patent data in the food sector which was very well received by the audience.

Driving innovation in the food industry with patent data & your IP.

Innovation within a business is a must for success. The need to innovate in the food industry includes the standard drivers for profitability, cost control and market share. Innovation is also critical to the food industry because of customer preferences and choices, food fads and the increasing focus on nutritional value, functionality and food safety. Sugar is the new enemy and businesses in the confectionery sector face additional challenges and reasons to innovate.

How do you drive innovation?

You need a clear vision for your business and to know the landscape in which your business operates. This means understanding: • trends in technology and product development • trends in branding and product packaging • where best to invest your R&D dollars • your competitors/suppliers activities • local and global perspective of the landscape • your freedom to operate (road blocks)

Analysis of patent data is a key strategy to support your innovation.

Even if your business does not actively patent innovations, patent databases represent an invaluable resource that should be tapped into.

Analytical software can be used to interrogate patent databases quickly and in real time to create interactive images that enable visual digestion of the underlying data.

Patents underlying the images can be isolated and studied to identify untapped areas of innovation, innovation trends, market preferences, collaborators, investors and potential road blocks.

Analysing patent data in this way enables the identification of solutions to challenges facing your business more rapidly, and with greater precision.

Innovation requires the alignment of a variety of intellectual property (‘IP’) protection strategies with your business strategy.

IP in the confectionery sector is relevant to numerous aspects of an operator’s business including: • recipes • ingredients • production processes • new technical products • labelling • branding and trade marks • marketing • packaging • the final product • collaborations • supplier/distribution agreements • manufacturing agreements • managing and protecting know how

Find the sweet spot through the analysis of patent data and strategic management of your IP.