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At the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Kötter lectures on the subjects of “Innovation Management” as well as “Patent Engineering I + II”.

Innovation management is the systematic planning, management and monitoring of innovations in organisations. In contrast to creativity, which relates to the development of ideas, innovation management is directed to the application of ideas. Innovation management does not exclusively deal with the implementation of new ideas. Also a combination of something already known or an idea still unknown to a target group can be considered an innovation.

The management of innovations forms part of the company strategy and may relate to products, services, manufacturing processes, organisational structures, management processes and many more. While product innovations usually aim at customer satisfaction, process innovations are mostly directed to the improvement of effectiveness and efficiency of processes.

In the lecture Innovation Management, students will learn to understand technical processes and concepts and to quickly assess corresponding implementation potential of innovations. They are enabled to get a general idea of the market and its development and to act as mediators between the technical world and sales and marketing and to moderate conflicting interests and views within a company.

By developing these skills, a systematic approach is created in order to selectively control innovations in the companies.


Industrial property protection has reached a strategic significance in business practice which is reflected as a cross-sectional function in development and sales and marketing. The lecture seeks to familiarise the students with the types of industrial property rights and their application in business practice. After an economic assessment of industrial property rights and their significance, the application, enforcement and defence of property rights is discussed by means of specific practical examples. Apart from the national context, also international intellectual property treaties and their strategic significance will be covered. One focus of the lecture is the protection of technical devices and methods. The legal position of the employed inventor including compensation is discussed. Further topics of the lecture are:

  • Conducting and evaluating patent searches
  • Patent strategy and patent portfolio
  • European patent right
  • International patent treaties
  • Designs and design protection
  • Application and role of a trademark
  • Trademark strategy

All significant industrial states today have implemented patent protection. Due to several international patent cooperation agreements it is possible to obtain patent protection on the basis of a national, European or international patent application in most of these states.