Headquarters: Sydney, Australia

Industry sector: Biomedical

Global hearing solutions provider Cochlear overhauled its IP department five years ago in order to better align its corporate and IP strategies. Its forward-thinking board realised that the company’s ambitions demanded international IP expertise, and thus prioritised filling senior management roles with experienced hires from outside Australia. An extensive IP landscaping exercise followed, which laid the foundations for an IP strategy focused on identifying product gaps and exploring licensing opportunities on the market. On the back of this approach, Cochlear has expanded its international footprint, winning a $100 million contract with the Chinese government to provide a suite of iPad applications to help adults learn to hear with implants, as well as wider auditory solution initiatives. The company also received US Food and Drug Administration approval for a unique underwater hearing device – the first of its kind to be sold anywhere in the world.