Protecting the innovations of tomorrow

25 June 2012 Feature story

Airbus is putting greater emphasis on protecting – and when appropriate, promoting – its diverse range of company-developed technological advances and innovations with an optimised new system now in place for effectively managing intellectual property.

To confirm that all ideas and concepts are fully explored, and to make sure necessary funds are allocated appropriately, Airbus introduced a system of patent committees to closely examine each proposal. These groups combine expertise from across the company’s operations to think through possible applications and determine whether there is commercial potential. 

Proposals are not judged on the basis of “good” or “bad,” with the patent committee instead focussing on the best path for their individual protection and exploitation. This can be accomplished through several methods, including the use of worldwide and national patents, or posting on a publically-available website. 

A prime example of the benefits brought by Airbus’ enhanced intellectual property system is the success of its AFDX® (Avionics Full DupleX Switched Ethernet) – an inter-system communication network developed for such new-generation aircraft as the A380, A400M and A350 XWB. AFDX® has become the industry standard, with its effectiveness underscored by five revenue-generating licensing agreements.

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