Each brand has a well-defined identity, with a specific values which are reflected in the product offering, features and design, as well as in appropriate communication mechanics.
We remain convinced that our balanced business model, combining profitable growth and a resolutely responsible approach, creates value for all and plays a full part in our contribution to better living in households around the world.
The Industrial Property Department (IP) supports R&D to protect group innovation and ensure, in exploratory mode by making an inventory of existing inventions, that it does not infringe existing patents.
All the innovation components are taken into account in Groupe SEB's IP strategy: technical innovation through patents, design characteristics through models, and product naming by the brands.
The Industrial Property (IP) also plays a crucial role in defending the group's interests by fighting against copies and brand, patent and model counterfeiting. This approach consists of an active watch notably in regions reputed to be at risk, as well as the technical and legal analysis of competing appliances relative to our patents. In the event of an infringement, IP asserts the rights of the group and implements actions to fight against patent counterfeiting in our key markets in the shape of transactions, seizures, production stoppages and the destruction of molds and products.
To effectively fulfill its remit, the IP Department is staffed by patent advisor engineers, document technicians and assistants. Reporting to Groupe SEB's Research Department, IP also works closely together with the Legal Department and is based at the headquarters in Ecully, France.
The Group files an average of 100-120 patents a year in France. According to the INPI*, rankings, Groupe SEB has rated among the top-twenty patent filers in France for several years.
In the world, Groupe SEB filed 542 patents in 2017, covering all the group's activities in small household appliances and cookware.
Our innovation protection strategy is worldwide and rigorous, through the IP protection of every inventions either by filing pioneer patent (based on innovative principle), product patent (based on the structure of the device) and improvement patent (based on a detail of the device).
The virtually oil-free Actifry deep fryer comprises 33 patented inventions, 20 of them industrialized. A few examples:
Protecting our innovations calls for major investments. The group spends several million euros on the filing of patents, the fight against counterfeiting and the management of legal disputes.
*A Soleau envelope is proof of the prior existence of a creation that can be used in France to obtain with certitude the date of an invention, idea or work by filing it at the National institute of industrial property (INPI).