Intellectual Property League Table 2016 Results – Spring Update

We are excited about the latest stage in the growth of the IP League Table, welcoming almost 40 new companies to the IP100 community over the last three months and adding their scores to those of the 2015 entrants. We are pleased to say that the quality of entrants has been very high, with many new entrants making it into the top 20. It is clear that the IP League Table continues to attract young growing businesses investing in IP assets, as well as more established IP-rich companies, desperate to get the benefits enjoyed by the first intake of entrants such as SwiftKey, Sphere Fluidics and eeGeo. We are thrilled to present you with the overall rankings and a brief analysis of our findings.

The IP League Table ranking process is based upon the assessment of five IP asset classes – Brand & Reputation, Patents, Critical Databases, Software, and Trade Secrets. These were chosen to highlight companies which are using their IP assets to create effective barriers to entry and the competitive advantages needed for national and international expansion. Our criteria also encompass a wide variety of IP assets – both registered and unregistered

Results and Trends

This year, the sector spread of entrants is similar to that found in the previous report, with Consumer Services and Business Services representing nearly 25% of entrants each, followed closely by B2B Software at 19% and B2C Software at 15%.

Interestingly, the recognition of IP on the balance sheet of some entrants was one of the features linked to some of the best scoring companies, suggesting that acquired IP assets have encouraged companies to be more effective in IP management. Companies which had a value for intangible assets on their balance sheet performed better both overall and in each individual IP asset class.

When we compiled the first table in November last year, we identified a correlation between company IP scores and their year of incorporation, finding that companies incorporated between 2001 and 2005 had the highest average scores. It is likely that, following the economic downturn, new businesses perhaps couldn’t afford to invest as much in IP development and management as those established pre-recession. When we take a deeper dive into these results, businesses incorporated after 2011 performed very well in trade secrets, but had the lowest scores in patents. This suggests either a shift towards less costly methods of IP protection or is a reflection on the effectiveness of patenting versus trade secret protection.

Top 20 IP League Table Entrants

1
Kromek
72.7
2
COREX
71.3
3
Metail
69.1
4
Stevenson Astrosat
66.9
5
Adrok PGM
65.9
6
Heald
64.4
7
Data Conversion Systems
63.5
8
Digitonic
63.4
9
Jones Publishing (Citywealth)
63.4
10
LUX Assure
62.4
11
Speech Graphics
62.3
12
Eagle Genomics
61
13
Global Surface Intelligence
59.8
14
Payfont
59.3
15
CC Technology
58
16
Standard Life Employee Services
57.8
17
WheelRight
57.6
18
Sodash 
57.5
19
Centrepoint Computer Services
57.5
20
Pacifica Group
57.2

Other Entrants

20/20 Business Insight
Activity Banking
Acuutech
Affective Logic
Altia Solutions
Anatom
Appointedd
Art Retail Network
Bactest
Bad Idea Organization
Bio ID Security
Biogelx
BrandFour
Breaking Free Online
Bright Office
Celtic Design Consultants
Connect-In
Cytomos
Deep Tek Winch IP
Desktop Genetics
Dga Precision
Dmist Research
Dogtag
Doosan Babcock
Downhole Energy
eeGeo
Emotional Sciences
Exmos
Geospatial Insight
Hard Hood Clothing
Hermes Apps
Iotic Labs
KB Group (UK)
Kids Innovations Development
Koolmill Systems
Lexus International
Malinkey
Mevgen Technologies
Mujo Mechanics
Opinurate
PingGo
R & G Associates
Redu Group
S L Social
SmartEDiTORS
Smith & Sinclair
So To Company
Soapurity
Spedian
Sphere Fluidics
Sunstore Technologies
Swipiicard
Syrinix
The Nostrum Group
Totseat
TTS Pharma
Visual Products (Visorcat)
Wearable Technologies
WeeWorld (WW FQ)
WFS Technologies
Worldteachers Recruitment

The Top 5

Taking the top spot is Kromek, a UK radiation detection solutions Group that provides digital colour x-ray and gamma ray detection and imaging. The company, which operates in the UK and the US, has used its IP assets to create effective barriers to entry and the competitive advantages needed for expansion.

Just behind Kromek is Aberdeen-based COREX, with over 35 years’ experience in providing specialist services primarily in the analysis of geological samples for the oil and gas industry, which performed particularly well in the Brand and Reputation and Critical Databases classes.

In third place is a London based company, Metail, which allows shoppers to try on clothes online after inputting three basic body measurements.

Fourth and fifth place are taken by Musselburgh-based Stevenson Astrosat, experts at sourcing, analysing and deploying satellite driven data, and Adrok PGM, an Edinburgh-based company specialising in geophysical services for the identification and exploration of natural resources.

Best in Patent IP Asset Class

It is clear from our results that patents are a crucial IP asset for a wide-range of companies seeking to secure a competitive advantage. Within the top 20 you will spot entrants from a variety of sectors, with Oil & Gas well represented, closely followed by Business Services. Like the last report, we have joint winners: Wearable Technologies (offering products aimed at cyclists, runners, equestrians and the emergency services), Deep Tek Winch IP (creating cost-effective technology for accessing deep and ultra-deep water for its core business of cargo recovery) and Kromek (developing radiation detection solutions) with equally robust patent management strategies.

1
Wearable Technologies
 
2
Kromek
 
3
Deep Tek Winch IP
 
4
Adrok PGM
 
5
Dmist Research

Best in Brand and Reputation IP Asset Class

Most companies performed well in the brand category. This is not surprising as this IP asset is important in building trust, identity and empathy between a company and its customers, regardless of sector. Interestingly, as with patents, the Consumer Services, Business Services and Oil & Gas sectors dominated the top 20, although nearly all industries feature. New entrant Jones Publishing (a publishing and events platform under the Citywealth brand) has emerged joint top of this IP asset class. Alongside its active social media use, its wealth management network has been well promoted using publications, events, and awards. Joint winner, COREX (a specialist in geological analysis and sampling for oil and gas) scored well as a result of its investment in brand guidelines and protection, image enhancing customers and market surveys. In third and fourth place was Data Conversion Systems (a high-end digital audio company) and Standard Life, which in particular has had great success using partnership and sponsorship strategies to boost their image and international reach.

1
Jones Publishing (Citywealth)
 
2
COREX
 
3
Standard Life Employee Services
 
4
Data Conversion Systems
 
5
WeeWorld

Best in Trade Secret IP Asset Class

Interestingly, the Consumer Services sector dominated the top 20 in this IP asset class. The highest scores went to those companies which have created robust trade secret protection policies and a related IP culture within their businesses, protecting critical information and secret recipes. The top performer was Stevenson Astrosat, WFS Technologies (providers of subsea wireless instrumentation and control products), and LUX Assure (developers of corrosion monitoring technology), with Kromek and Smith & Sinclair (creators of alcoholic confectionery) not far behind. While trade secrets are gaining momentum as a way of protecting valuable information which might be ill-suited to patenting, there is still a lack of awareness around the importance of establishing the processes and controls for trade secret protection and management. This IP asset class had the largest spread of scores, with several entrants admitting they had trade secrets, but had no protection measures in place.

1
Stevenson Astrosat
 
2
LUX Assure
 
3
WFS Technologies
 
4
Kromek
 
5
Smith & Sinclair

Best in Critical Database IP Asset Class

The top performers in this asset class were B2B Software companies, showing the growing emphasis on data capture and data management within the sector. There was a tight range in the top scores, with seven entrants ranking very closely together. Metail, Global Surface Intelligence (providing earth observation data analysis), Worldteachers Recruitment (an international education talent agency), Stevenson Astrosat (experts at sourcing, analysing and deploying satellite driven data) and COREX all demonstrated highly effective controls and protection measures around database management.

1
Metail
2
Worldteachers Recruitment
3
Stevenson Astrosat
4
COREX
5
Global Surface Intelligence

Best in Software IP Asset Class

Not surprisingly, businesses from the B2B Software sector make up a large proportion of the top 20 in this IP asset class. However, the Business Services sector performed well, highlighting the importance of proprietary software in other industries, which comes as no surprise given an increasingly technology-led economy. In this IP asset class, Kromek and CC Technology (technology experts in grant management), both with over 10 years’ experience developing software solutions for quite different markets, were joint leaders. They were closely followed by Stevenson Astrosat, Sodash (who provide social media and customer service tools) and BrandFour (a digital design and solutions provider).

1
Kromek
2
CC Technology
3
Stevenson Astrosat
4
Sodash
5
BrandFour

Read the full report here.