Using, managing and protecting intellectual property

As well as acknowledging the intrinsic value of applied research activities and industrial experimentation, MAG has recently focussed on protecting its intellectual capital through legal protection.

These initiatives have been made possible by the fact that most of the contracts acquired during the PORTFOLIO DIVERSIFICATION stage provide that the intellectual property of the developments belongs to MAG or, in certain cases, for joint ownership with the OEM.

The filing of design rights initially intensified in the 2015 – 2017 period, mainly for patents for specific applications, especially in area of actuator technologies (ASY) and research on materials (ASE – CCS).

MAG worked on consolidating the procedures in the next two years in order to extend the filing of the patents and trademarks to key areas, mainly Europe, the United States, Canada, the Russian Federation, Brazil and China.

The aim is to formalise intellectual property (IP) management activities (i.e., patent portfolio management, control of patent filing procedures, maintaining approved patents, protecting group know-how and monitoring technological competitors’ patent activities) and the related processes and consolidate them over time.

The engineering managers are involved in the group’s internal verification of the scope of research and development and of the technologies the group is involved or intends to become involved in, aimed at:

  • periodically monitoring the progress of technological development and providing updates on progress;
  • creating a shared database of group companies’ know-how, promoting access thereto;
  • laying the foundation for the optimisation of IP resources.

This activity overlaps with that of the subsidised financing unit responsible for assessing opportunities to access grants and subsidised financing and for participation in tenders and reporting on the related activities. The subsidised financing unit is part of the group’s finance department which more generally ensures that adequate coverage is in place for the research and development activities carried out.

The following table shows the activities carried out in the last few years for the protection of intellectual capital.

2018/19 2017/18 2016/17 2015/16 2014/15
Feasibility analysis and precedent research - 1 - 1 2
National or international patent applications 1 - - 1 1
Supplementary type certificates (major changes) 1 1 3 4 2
Minor changes 41 32 18 57 58
Registration of trademarks or product brands (filing or extension - 1 4 4 -

MAG lodged a petition for the 2015/16 – 2019/20 five-year period to commence a procedure for an advance agreement on the calculation methods and criteria used to calculate how much the direct and indirect use of intangible assets contributes financially to the business’s profits, in order to benefit from the “Patent Box” tax relief referred to in article 6 of the Minister of Economic Development decree of 30 July 2015.

As part of this procedure, MAG completed a self-assessment and due diligence procedure on the intangible assets which helped optimise the manner in which such assets are identified, protected and safeguarded.