1. What is your company’s technology solution?
Energysquare, a French company founded in 2015, is developing the new wireless charging technology “Power by Contact”. Unlike inductive charging technologies on the market, Power by Contact allows the wireless charging of several devices simultaneously, at the same speed as a conventional charger, at high power and without energy loss.
2. How is your technology used?
Power by Contact technology can be embedded into any electronic device that needs charging daily. Energysquare is especially focusing on laptop charging applications, in the workspace environment. Our goal is to get rid of cables in the workspace, and to provide every laptop user with an ergonomic charging experience.
3. What is the impact of your invention?
Cables always bring bad ergonomics to electronic devices. For decades, device manufacturers have tried to get rid of these cables. This has been done successfully for connectivity and data sharing protocols, through Wifi and Bluetooth for example, but we still have a power cable linked to all our devices. Our goal at Energysquare is to get rid of this last cable.
Our technology is protected through several IP rights since it is not only a hardware solution but also a software solution. Its complexity allows us to protect it with a 360º perspective with the full range of IP rights that exist.
4. How was your company founded? What were the early days like?
Energysquare is a French startup that was founded in 2015 by three young entrepreneurs, Daniel Lollo, Matthieu Poidatz and Timothée Le Quesne, to once and for all get rid of the many cables we use daily to charge our devices.
The entire Energysquare project relies on a balance between engineers and designers, recently adding a head of Legal in charge of managing the Intellectual property of the Company, a key issue for the business model that we are carrying out.
5. What IP rights does your company use?
We are using almost all IP rights: patents, trade secrets, copyrights, software protection… We are convinced that IP is key for our business and the more we can protect the more we can offer to our clients. We believe that IP should be ubiquitous in our business decisions and support us in making efficient decisions with all the right tools.
6. When did you file for intellectual property rights, and did you use outside counsel?
We started to use IPRs at a very early stage. We had the support of France Brevet, which is owned by the French State and the Caisse des Depots.Today, we have a head of legal in charge of putting in place not only our patent portfolio but also an IP strategy for Energysquare, with a more commercial perspective. We work with attorneys specialized both in patents and trademarks and we also have been supported by INPI France on some topics.
7. How do you monitor and address instances of infringement? What types of problems have you encountered?
Fortunately, we have not been faced with infringement problems. In any case, we take all the corresponding measures from the legal point of view both in the contracts we sign and in how we carry out our relationships with clients, third parties and collaborators. We think this is a key question for young companies, since it is an extremely expensive topic and that could be a big problem from the financial point of view for small companies that cannot afford litigation. We decided at Energysquare to invest very early in our IP, to be as robust as possible in all our development stages.
8. What is the balance of costs and benefits from owning and managing your IPRs?
We believe that it is really important that companies like us understand the power and value of Intellectual Property, and in this sense, it is good that the management of IP is done internally. This management can always be supported by experts who guide the work of the company, but it is important that the information is handled internally since information is essential for IP. Having convinced ourselves of this, we decided to incorporate an expert in intellectual property into our team.
9. What advice would you give other innovative SMEs regarding IP management?
Invest in IP from the first day. It is hard, but is the way to move forward, and as we said before, not only invest on patents, but also in trademark that from the marketing side are important for the business and if you choose the wrong name, you can have a lot of troubles for protecting it worldwide.
10. If you would have one message for government officials wishing to support innovative SMEs, what would it be?
Young companies are often involved in a vicious circle where without IP rights, it is hard to find investors, but on the other hand, with no investments the business cannot be run successfully, and the IP strategy is certainly impossible to put into place. In that sense, all the support that governmental officials can offer to entrepreneurs and innovators in order to guide them and give them support in the early stages is always welcome.
World IP Day 2021 celebrates innovative SMEs worldwide. To mark this occasion, IP Europe is highlighting the experiences of innovative European SMEs. IP Europe advocates for effective IP protection and enforcement frameworks in Europe, to support technological advancement, growth and quality job creation.