Case Number: 5-406-753, Year Published: 2006
HBS Number: KEL288
Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property Management, Intellectual Property Rights, Patents, Infringement, Trademarks, Distribution, Distribution Channels, Product Management, Marketing Strategy, Technology Management
ESPE, the market leader, is a medium-sized German manufacturer of precision dental impression materials competing in a shrinking market. To grow the business, ESPE invests substantial resources in innovating impression materials and associated distribution mechanisms. Squeezed by the shrinking market, the competition is increasingly using the proprietary channels (dispensing mechanisms) and brand equity (trademark) of ESPE to maintain their market share. There is a potential infringement. The case explores how ESPE is organized to execute on the options imbedded in their IP rights.
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