Intellectual Property League Table 2017 Results

 

We’re delighted to announce 2017’s Intellectual Property League Table! Since the last publication, we have seen a huge growth in interest in the IP League Table across a number of sectors and, like last year, we have also been pleased with the extremely high standard of IP management from new entrants, many of whom have made their way into the overall top 20 ranking.

The IP League Table profiles and ranks innovative companies, highlighting those which have significantly invested in their IP in the form of IP creation, IP management policies, R&D activities and IP commercialisation. Focusing on the assessment of five IP asset classes – Brand & Reputation, Patents, Critical Databases, Software, and Trade Secrets, the scoring system is designed to identify companies which are using their IP assets to create the competitive advantages needed to improve their ability to fundraise quicker and at higher valuations, scale up and grow internationally.

We are pleased to present you with this year’s rankings and a brief analysis of the results!

Results and Trends

2017 saw a shift in industry spread within the IP League Table, with B2B Software representing 27% of entrants, which is close to a 50% increase from the previous year. This increase was not unexpected, as B2B Software companies often seek to fundraise early in their lifecycle based on the strength of their IP alone, and being a part of the IP100 helps businesses better achieve this goal. Closely following B2B Software as the IP100’s dominating industry was both Business Services and Consumer Services, each of which registered at 24%. Perhaps the increase in both Business and Consumer Service entrants shows that companies are finally starting to see the true value in assets often lacking in protection, such as brands and databases.

It was also particularly insightful to see that entrants incorporated from 2011 onwards are implementing much more robust trade secret policies than their experienced counterparts, which, in turn, led to them scoring higher in that area on average. Counterbalancing this fact is the way entrants have been scoring in Software, with companies incorporated between 2001-2005 scoring highest in this particular asset class. This is perhaps down to the relative youth of software start-ups’ technology, which often leads to a lack of documentation behind the software code itself and a lack of protection procedures in place. More mature companies have had many years to create this kind of documentation, and develop their software coding, testing and protection strategies.

The Top Five

This year’s overall winner is M Squared (a company specialising in the design and manufacture of lasers and photonics technology). Scoring consistently high across all five IP asset classes, the company displayed exceptional management and implementation of IP-led policies and processes which help foster a strong culture of innovation.

Just behind M Squared was Adrok (a provider of geophysical services for the identification and exploration of natural resources). In third place was P2i (a company offering innovative water resistant nanocoatings for a range of technology products, including smartphones) and fourth and fifth places were taken by COREX (UK) (specialising in geological analysis services) and Kromek (a leading developer of radiation detection solutions), respectively.

Best in Patent IP Asset Class

It was tight at the top of the Patents table this year, with first-placed P2i and runner-up Lifescaped (a new entrant focussed on researching natural structures and procedures to create biomimetics) leading the pack thanks to their wide patent portfolios spanning across multiple key territories. Both companies also carried out significant due diligence before filings to ensure the patent landscape was in their favour. M Squared was not too far behind in third place. Although the Oil & Gas sector prominently features in our top 20 Patents table for the second consecutive year, there was also a clear rise in the presence of Biotechnology firms and those specialising in Business Services.

1
P2i
 
2
Lifescaped
 
3
M Squared
 
4
Adrok PGM
 
5
Wearable Technologies

Best in Brand and Reputation IP Asset Class

Like last year, Brand & Reputation was the most consistently highest scoring asset class for the 2017 IP League Table. It was even more interesting to see how far many entrants have progressed in this area since they were scored last year, with many making significant improvements to their social media and marketing strategies. Last year’s highest placed entrant for Brand & Reputation, Jones Publishing (a publishing and events platform under the Citywealth brand), retained its spot at number one this year, with Adrok placing in second and Dogtag (a company offering an innovative travel insurance for athletes and adventurers) following in third. Adrok leapt up the table thanks to its high customer retention rate and robust trade mark strategy, while Dogtag made real progress with brand sponsorships and endorsements, gaining valuable exposure from many popular bloggers who have begun to promote the brand.

1
Jones Publishing
 
2
Adrok
 
3
Dogtag
 
4
Metail
 
5
M Squared

Best in Trade Secret IP Asset Class

This year saw Stevenson Astrosat and LUX Assure continue to be top of the Trade Secrets table. In third-place were COREX (UK) (a specialist in geological services for oil and gas), with newcomers M Squared and Spot Seven (Mativision) making up the top 5. They were able to achieve this by implementing robust trade secret policies and raising a real awareness of the issue within the business. Both held similarly comprehensive trade secret policies in their arsenal. Much like last year, there was real diversity in the scoring of Trade Secrets. Many companies recognised the importance of trade secrets and acknowledged they have assets that may qualify as such, but had not yet formalised the capture or protection of their trade secrets. Statistics showed that only 18% of entrants had an official trade secret policy in place. This highlights that Trade Secrets is an area where companies have room to make significant improvements. Oil & Gas entrants featured throughout this year’s top 20, which is understandable, considering trade secrets can often act as a complimentary asset to patents, which are also well recognised in this industry.

1
Stevenson Astrosat
 
2
LUX Assure
 
3
COREX (UK)
 
4
Spot Seven (Mativision)
 
5
M Squared

Best in Critical Database IP Asset Class

Critical Databases is another asset class where there was very little separating the top entrants. This year at the summit of the top 20 was Digitonic (a mobile marketing company), with Miituu (an innovative video system that enables organisations to record, manage and share digital stories via their own private video channel) coming in second, and Metail (a company that has developed software allowing online shoppers to digitally try on clothes) taking third spot. Our scoring process indicated that not only are entrants comprehensively storing the data they collect, but they are also using it to their own advantage, with 71% of entrants carrying out analysis of their data and using this to inform future marketing efforts. However, not all entrants have such tools available to them, with 44% storing their data in Microsoft Excel as opposed to using a dedicated software platform. It will be interesting to see the rise of data in future IP League Tables as investors recognise the importance of data and analytics in a successful business model and in any developing market.

1
Digitonic
2
Miituu
3
Metail
4
Stevenson Astrosat
5
Global Surface Intelligence

Best in Software IP Asset Class

B2B Software companies yet again made up the bulk of the top 20 list for Software this year. There was very little separating entrants in this category this year, with the cream of the crop including Spot Seven (Mativision) (a company offering virtual reality live streaming software) in first place, Adrok and its geophysical analytic software in second, and Kromek (radiation detection solutions developer) in third. Interestingly, Software was the highest scoring asset on average across every industry sector. This is certainly pleasing to see, as software is steadily becoming one of the most valuable assets a company can own, and companies are more comfortable having their own dedicated software developers as opposed to relying on third party development teams. It is therefore no surprise that companies are beginning to do all they can to properly manage and protect their bespoke programs, and correctly document their software development and testing processes to better communicate the scalability of these assets – something that should be core to a company’s growth strategy.

1
Spot Seven (Mativision)
2
Adrok
3
Kromek
4
Appointedd
5
Synoptica

Read the full report here.