1. Company Profile:

MaxVal is a Silicon Valley-based IP solutions provider known for its innovative products and automated solutions. Since 2004, MaxVal has been providing technology-enabled solutions and expert services by collaborating with patent counsel and patent operations teams to optimize patent lifecycle management with high levels of customer service (Maxval-IP, 2017).

MaxVal’s clients range from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies including, top U.S. pharmaceutical, biotechnology, high-tech (wireless, electrical, electronic, etc.), medical device manufacturers and leading technology-focused patent law firms worldwide (Maxval-IP, 2017).

MaxVal’s team comprises highly experienced and IP-trained professionals who have been delivering IP related solutions for more than a decade through continuous process innovations and state-of-the-art technologies (Maxval-IP, 2017).

Products: Symphony, Max-IDS, Litigation Data Bank, Max-Pair and PTA wizard.

1.1 Financial overview:

Maxval Ip Services Private Limited is a Private incorporated on 26 November 2010. It is classified as a Non-govt company and is registered at Registrar of Companies, Coimbatore. Its authorized share capital is Rs. 500,000 and its paid-up capital is Rs. 112,000. Directors of Maxval Ip Services Private Limited are Durairaj Bommi Bommannan and Durairaj Annamalai (Zaubacorp, 2017).

For the period ended 31 Mar 2015, the company reported revenues of INR 5.9 cr and profit after tax of INR 2.4 lac. As of 31 Mar 2015, the net worth of the company stood at INR -19.8 lac (Tofler, 2017).

2. Intellectual property:

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright, and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish (Wipro, 2017).

Running a successful organization is not an easy task. There are multitudes of goals to track, competitors to beat and a product line to build and protect to survive in the cut-throat race. During those times, a patent portfolio is the best weapon for an organization that can act both as a shield and sword when the need arises.

A patent portfolio can serve multiple purposes- It could be used defensively to protect the product line of a company, offensively to monopolize the market and eliminate competition, and strategically to start a flow of licensing revenue for the organization (Services, 2017).

2.1 Types of Intellectual properties:

i) Patents:

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention. Generally, a patent provides the patent owner with the right to decide how — or whether — the invention can be used by others. In exchange for this right, the patent owner makes technical information about the invention publicly available in the published patent document (Wipo, 2017).

ii) Copyrights:

Copyright is a legal term used to describe the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works. Works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture, and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps and technical drawings (Wipo, 2017).

iii) Trademarks:

A trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises. Trademarks date back to ancient times when craftsmen used to put their signature or “mark” on their products (Wipo, 2017).

iv) Industrial Design:

An industrial design constitutes the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. A design may consist of three-dimensional features, such as the shape or surface of an article, or of two-dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color (Wipo, 2017).

v) Geographical Indications:

Geographical indications and appellations of origin are signs used on goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, a reputation or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that place of origin. Most commonly, a geographical indication includes the name of the place of origin of the goods (Wipo, 2017).

3. Some of the patent-related cases:

1. In the mid 90’s Harley Davidson sued Honda for copying the low base engine sound (Sapherstein, 1998).

2. Apple sued phone maker HTC and has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, alleging that the Taiwanese company is infringing 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone. Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, said in a statement “We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.” (cnet, 2017).

3. 3 suits filed by Adidas Saloman AG in the Delhi High Court against counterfeiters. At the initial stage, the Local Commissioner seized infringing goods. Cases were decreed recently & damages of Rs. 15 lakhs were awarded to Adidas Saloman (patton, 2017).

4. Apple Wins Over Jury in Samsung Patent Dispute, Awarded $1.05 Billion in Damages (Forbes, 2017).

5. In 2016 December, Nokia sues Apple in patent dispute (BBC, 2017).

4. Marketing Mix (4 hard ‘P’s)

Based on the Marketing Mix model and their division, the 4 hard P’s (ie) Product, Place, Price and Promotion and the Soft P’s (ie) Process, Physical Environment and Clients can be discussed with regard to Maxval. None of the elements of the marketing mix work in isolation at Maxval. Instead, a unified body of information acts as the source for all activities within these 4P’s

i) Product:

Maxval main products are Intellectual properties, supported by patents, copyrights and trademarks. These products position the company as a one-stop solution for all the IP needs. This will create a strong branding for the company as a trusted brand to save all their IP’s. This intern creates a marketing advantage over its competitors. The other main aspect of Maxval is, customizing as per the customer’s need using superior technology. Target customer requirements are identified and fulfilled that position Maxval to be a customer-driven IP company.

ii) Price:

Maxval is affordably priced, as the company aspires to be a branded IP product company. However, it will also be expanding its customer base by implementing a low-cost pricing strategy for low-end target markets.

iii) Promotion:

Promotion is the communication aspect of the marketing mix. Maxval aims in attracting customers’ attention by giving them enough information about the product to foster enough interest to motivate them to purchase. Through promotion activities, Maxval aims in building awareness, creating interest, providing information, differentiate products, and reinforces the brand.

Through the promotional mix, a company aims to fulfill two basic objectives. One is to make the customer aware that the product and brand exist. The other is to persuade them to pick this product over all others and continue to buy it. Maxval promotional activities are carried out through advertising, sales promotions, direct marketing, personal selling, PR and sponsorship.

iv) Place:

Maxval caters to its clients through their offices (India and USA) and its agents located in different parts of the world. Maxval offices provide an atmosphere where its clients not only comfortable in dropping down to the office but use it as a meeting place to make new deals. This strategy improves brand loyalty and customer retention.

Marketing Mix (3 soft ‘P’s)

v) People:

The greatest asset of Maxval is human capital which is potential enough to handle any market tactics thrown at them. The company employed a trained and talented pool of people by even recruiting them directly from universities. Another recruitment process is done through, workshops and internship programs can be given for basic experiences. “After-sale support” department works in solving issues and maintenance of product/services purchased from Maxval.

vi) Process:

This is one of the P that is always overlooked by most of the companies. Maxval gives priority to how the process of assistance works and caters to its clients. The organization carries out a systematic approach in approaching and fulfilling the customer needs. The internal departments inside the company share the information and the process is speeded up for a productive output on time. Recommendation to Maxval can be the development of a feedback team who constantly responds to people in the form of live chats on the main website.

vii) Physical Environment

Practically no customer will be able to “experience” the product before purchasing it. Maxval provides a “feel good” experience to its incoming clients by having a well set up research and documentation department that works before the purchase. This will give them an idea as to what they’ll need. Also, the company giving them an interactive introduction about their company, its products and what they offer. That helps the customers have a good perception of the physical setup, which naturally builds a positive attitude with regard to what they purchase.

5. Ansoff’s Matrix:

Using Ansoff’s matrix, Maxval focus is on Market penetration into U.S. and Indian markets. The company wants to increase sales in these two markets and to penetrate more deeply into these two markets. Therefore, the company is now investing a lot in the business development department and technology departments. Conversely, Maxval is in a different stage in its international market; diversification. Because the consumers from the international market are not so receptive to the concept of IP, Maxval had to downsize the concept of IP products and services to capture the interest of consumers overseas.

6. SWOT Analysis

The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threads of the Maxval Company can be analyzed using a SWOT analysis.

SWOT

i) Strengths:

a) Loyal customers:

Maxval has its own set of loyal customers, who come again for their registration and renewal of their products. Maxval being a one-stop solution for all their IP needs makes it easy for their clients to purchase services and products under the same roof.

b) Trademark licensing:

Maxval has its own patents, copyrights and trademarks like a logo and its products. This increases the value of the company and aims at establishing a brand image.

c) Experienced manpower and Technology:

MaxVal Services is the timely, affordable, and flexible way to address, IP related needs. MaxVal’s team comprises highly experienced and IP-trained professionals who have been delivering IP related solutions for more than a decade through continuous process innovations and state-of-the-art technologies. Maxval had highly experienced staff, a combination of both onshore and offshore resources, and innovative use of technology make Maxval the right choice for the legal process outsourcing needs. MaxVal Services IP Operations are more efficient by combining an experienced and knowledgeable staff with leading-edge technology (Maxval, 2017).

d) Strong brand image:

Maxval works with a range from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies including, top U.S. pharmaceutical, biotechnology, high-tech (wireless, electrical, electronic, etc.), medical device manufacturers and leading technology-focused patent law firms worldwide (Maxval-IP, 2017). All these add up to a strong brand image for the company.

e) Branch office in India:

Most operations of the company are carried out in India. This helps in cutting costs for the company and helps the client in saving the expenses. India is a country of intelligent minds and most of the top companies R&D department is in India due to cost-efficient manpower available in the country.

The research ecosystem in India presents a significant opportunity for multinational corporations across the world due to its intellectual capital available in the country. Legions of Indian engineers working across the globe highlight the highly trained manpower available at competitive costs. Consequently, several MNCs have shifted or are shifting their research and development (R&D) base to India. These R&D bases either develop products to serve the local market or help the parent company overseas deliver a new innovative generation of products faster to the markets across the world (IBEF, 2017).

Weakness:

a) Dependent on US market:

The main business for Maxval comes from US market and most of its clients are from US. Any unfavorable condition (natural disaster, weather condition, political conditions) in the US economy that can directly affect the company’s business.

b) Lack of IP awareness:

Some of the developed countries and emerging countries are not much aware of the importance and necessity of intellectual properties. Some companies even end up in losses due to misuse of information that is patented.

Recently, John Villasenor conducted an informal survey of graduate engineering students at UCLA, where he teaches, to assess intellectual property (IP) awareness. The results highlight the challenges of promoting and protecting IP in American universities and technology companies and illustrate why universities need to increase their efforts to educate students on what IP is and why it matters.

First, the numbers: Of the approximately 60 graduate engineering students who completed the survey, 68% stated that they did not know enough to answer the question “what is a trade secret?” 21% stated that they did not know enough to answer the question “what is a patent?” The percentages of students unable to provide an answer to “what is copyright?” and “what is a trademark?” were 32% and 51% respectively (Forbes, 2017).

Opportunities:

a) Asian economy is Booming:

The Asian economy is continuously growing. China and India are the two countries that are less affected by the global recession (online, 2017). From the point of IP industry, there are a lot of opportunities in the Asia region, especially in India and China.

b) Business in APJ region:

Singapore is said to be the business hub of Asia and can cover business all over the Asia Pacific region (Business, 2017). It will be a greater opportunity for Maxval to expand its business to APJ region by setting up its headquarters in Singapore. There are other benefits like tax benefits by making Singapore as its headquarters.

Threats:

a) Competitors:

In the last few years the number of competitors in IP industry is increasing. There’s a need for Maxval to establish itself in a competitive situation to attract its clients through its one-stop solution for all its IP needs.

b) Country standards:

There are different standards for each country based on their region Maxval needs to customize its services. The acts and laws of one country differ from the other.

7. Directional Policy Matrix:

International investment opportunities can be analyzed based on the directional policy matrix. In this Directional policy matrix Maxval fit into the secondary opportunity, the industry attractiveness is medium because the overall growth rate of the industry is average, there is no much market diversity and the size of the US market is limited so applying this industry attractiveness tool, and company’s competitive strength is high because of Maxval’s loyal customers and almost 50% of the US market share, so its competitive strength in the US market is high. And for the Indian market, it fits into the second opportunity with the medium competitive strength and high industry attractiveness.

8. Risk factor:

i) There is no assurance that the company will be successfully executing its long-term business strategy and Maxval may or may not be able to drive growth continuously over the period.

ii) Maxval may plan to expand their international sale that is part of a long-term business strategy subjected to company risk and it may or may not be a successful investment.

iii) Changes in political events, tightening of credit, general economic condition or other factors that indirectly impact sales of Maxval’s product and services.

9. Porter’s Five Forces:

Rivalry among Competitors: High

· Maxval has high rivalry from its major competitors

· Sometimes the other companies have better marketing resources that Maxval doesn’t have

· There are other brands in the market that offer IP at more reasonable rates than that of Maxval

· If the existing competitors form mergers or alliances, then it can pose a threat to the company on a global platform

The threat of New Entrants: Low

· Since it is a trusted brand that offers a one-stop solution for all IP needs, the threat of getting new entrants is potentially low

· A huge amount of financial resources is required to have a start-up like this

· Moreover, Maxval is a well-established and mature company that has been built over the years. So, it will take new entrants a long time to get where Maxval has reached

The Threat of Substitutes: Low

· The main advantage that Maxval enjoys is the brand image that makes existing substitutes seem low in the market

· Furthermore, the quality and value services and products offered by Maxval is far more superior to that of other companies

· As the brand caters to only a certain community of company in the market, clients would want to remain loyal to the brand

Bargaining Power of Buyers: Moderate

· Each purchase of a service and product is an individual company. So, if one or more clients don’t buy these services and products it will not pose a threat to the company or its financial position

· Sometimes the buyers have adequate power over the company as it aims to offer customized products and services for its clients

· Maxval should extend its market to new places so that it can get a better client reach and response

10. Conclusion:

Create yourself, rather than using other’s creations. Do not use a competitor’s mark in such a way that it harms the competitor in an unfair way. No comparisons are likely to cause confusion. Technological advancement made the job of the CREATOR easy it also made the job of the COPY-ER easy.

Maxval is doing good business in USA and India market. The marketing plan is reliable, innovative, and most importantly, very achievable. The advertising plan and allocation created will increase brand awareness and sales to targeted audiences. Implementing this plan will permit Maxval to continue moving in a forward direction and to allow market growth through the diversity of products and various markets; eliminating the dependency of American Markets and attracting more clients to the Maxval brand.

11. References:

1. BBC. (2017, June 08). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38399236

2. Business. (2017, June 07). Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/spore-ranked-second-in-cities-of-opportunity-report

3. cnet. (2017, June 07). Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/news/apple-sues-htc-over-iphone-patents/

4. Farah, P. D., & Tremolada, R. (n.d.). Desirability of Commodification of Intangible Cultural Heritage: The Unsatisfying Role of Intellectual Property Rights. Transnational Dispute Management, 11(2). Retrieved 6 8, 2017

5. Forbes. (2017, June 06). Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnvillasenor/2012/11/27/intellectual-property-awareness-at-universities-why-ignorance-is-not-bliss/#181457b613ce

6. Forbes. (2017, June 08). Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2012/08/24/jury-has-reached-verdict-in-apple-samsung-patent-suit-court-to-announce-it-shortly/#6d14b550b711

7. IBEF. (2017, June 06). Retrieved from https://www.ibef.org/industry/research-development-india.aspx

8. Maxval. (2017, June 06). Retrieved from https://www.maxval.com/services.html

9. Maxval-IP. (2017, June 04). Maxval. Retrieved from Maxval : https://www.maxval.com/about.html

10. online, T. &. (2017, June 07). Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10669868.2015.1117034?journalCode=wjeb20

11. patton, S. (2017, June 07). Retrieved from http://www.squirepattonboggs.com/~/media/files/insights/publications/2016/04/adidas-successful-in-three-stripe-opposition-case/adidas-case-alert-(2).pdf

12. Sapherstein, M. B. (1998). The Trademark Registrability of the Harley-Davidson Roar. The Trademark Registrability of the Harley-Davidson Roar.

13. Services, G. (2017, June 06). Retrieved from https://www.greyb.com/swot-analysis-can-unlock-potential-patent-portfolio/

14. Tofler. (2017, June 05). Retrieved from https://www.tofler.in/maxval-ip-services-private-limited/company/U74990TZ2010PTC016556

15. Wipo. (2017, June 05). Retrieved from http://www.wipo.int/about-ip/en/

16. Zaubacorp. (2017, June 04). Retrieved from https://www.zaubacorp.com/company/MAXVAL-IP-SERVICES-PRIVATE-LIMITED/U74990TZ2010PTC016556

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