Endress+Hauser Group honors inventors
270 new patent applications in 2015 is a new record – own patent department in the USA protects new technologies abroad
Year after year, the Endress+Hauser Group invests more than seven percent of its sales worldwide in research and development. A consistently high rate of patent applications in all areas of measurement technology is proof of the solid power of innovation of the Swiss family company.
“With 270 first applications and 456 patents granted, we’re pleased to report that we once more exceeded last year’s good results,” says Angelika Andres, Head of PatServe, Endress+Hauser’s intellectual property department. “The development shows a high level of continuity and a good spread across all our key technologies.”
The segment with the strongest growth was analytics, where the strategic acquisitions of recent years (Analytik Jena, SpectraSensors, Kaiser Optical Systems) make themselves felt. The number of proprietary rights active worldwide has meanwhile risen to 6,552.
On average, four out of five invention disclosures from Endress+Hauser’s rank and file are forwarded to the patent office. More than half of these have global relevance and are also patented in the USA and in China. Only about 30 percent of all patents reach business relevance, often after many years, but they are crucially important for the Group’s growth.
“Our proprietary rights not only protect individual innovations, but the enterprise as a whole,” explains Michael Ziesemer, COO of the Endress+Hauser Group. “Our own broad-based patent portfolio allows us to fend off attacks by competitors with much better chances of success.”
New branch office in the USA
PatServe opening an office abroad fits well into this context: From 1 April 2016, three experts will protect technical innovations at the Greenwood site in Indiana where Endress+Hauser produces level, flow, pressure and temperature measurement instruments.
The analytical technology of Endress+Hauser’s subsidiaries SpectraSensors (Houston, Texas), Kaiser Optical Systems (Ann Arbor, Michigan) and of Endress+Hauser Conducta (Anaheim, California) will also be protected from copying. With around 600 people working in production and 250 in sales, the USA is among Endress+Hauser’s most important markets.
Honoring its inventors has a long tradition at the measurement and automation technology specialist: Employees who have filed a patent are invited to the annual Innovators’ Meeting. “This is how we show our inventors that we appreciate their work,” says Michael Ziesemer. Attended by over 300 people, the 2016 event took place on 11 March at the exhibition center in Mulhouse (F). As every year, patents that are particularly important in economic terms received prizes during this festive occasion.