In 2012 Matthias Hillner began a long-term study of the relevance of Intellectual Property for design-led start-up businesses. This study is motivated through his own experience with setting up Studio for Virtual Typography, and it is supervised by Nick Leon, former Business Development Director for IBM's Global Services division in Europe, then Director of Design London, and now Head of Service Design at the Royal College of Art. Hillner is monitoring various businesses currently incubated at InnovationRCA in London Battersea to verify what is the best IP strategy for design-led university spinouts. Feel free to get in touch if you would like a pdf copy of any of the papers, or if you like us to give a talk.

Recent publications:


September 2014: design registration versus patents — IP management for design-­led start-­ups, Academic Design Management Conference "Design Management in an Era of Disruption", Design Management Institute, London, UK


December 2013: IP, an interesting phenomenon, Tsinghua International Design Management Symposium. Shenzhen, China


September 2013: On IP and secrecy, Management for Innovation, IDEMI 2013 (3rd Conference on Integration of Design, Engineering & Management for Innovation), Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (FEUP), Portugal


August 2013: On IP and secrecy, The relevance of IP to design-led start-up businesses, International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan