An evolving Nokia knows that the world is full of creative people with smart ideas-and it's opening its doors to them. The latest new thing from the Stephen Elop-led Nokia is "Invent With Nokia"-an initiative inviting people to submit ideas that Nokia will pay for if they decide to use them.
The Nokia Conversations blog explains:
To submit an idea, participants will need to register through the site and agree not to share the idea with anyone else for four months. If Nokia decides not to pursue the idea, they'll let the inventor know within four months, and the inventor has the same rights to the idea that they did before submitting them. If Nokia does devise to pursue the idea, it has the right to apply for a patent, and the inventor will be paid-or "rewarded."
Just how generously isn't so clear.
"Nokia's business is very diverse, and the inventions we review are similarly broad. Whilst we take a common approach to valuing and rewarding our partners, there will be some variability," the Invent With Nokia site explains. "In principle you will be eligible for an award if we apply for a patent based on your invention. You may be eligible for a further award depending on the success of the product and the level of award you choose at the patent application stage."
And remember, money isn't everything-there's fame, too! In addition to monetarily rewarding good ideas, "you'll also take your place in a hall of fame," states the May 19 blog post, "giving you public recognition for your invention so everybody will know who you are."
Nokia's CEO Elop, in a video on the Invent With Nokia site, speaks to his pre-CEO roots. "As an engineer, I understand the importance of innovative ideas and intellectual property," he says. "As a result, we have insured that Invent With Nokia is a secure environment in which you can safely present your concepts to us. I encourage you to consider sharing your creative work and joining us in the amazing future of mobility."
Since becoming CEO in September 2010, Elop's other big ideas to help reverse the phone maker's slipping market share have been to switch Nokia's focus from the fast-losing-friends Symbian OS to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform; to outsource Symbian responsibilities to Accenture; to lay off 4,000 employees and shift 3,000 others to Accenture; and, most recently, to rebrand Ovi services as straight-up Nokia services.
"These last few years, and moving forward," Nokia Executive Vice President and CMO Jerri DeVard said in a May 16 statement about the Ovi phase-out, "our mission remains unchanged: we will continue our work to deliver compelling, unified mobile service offerings and next-generation, disruptive technologies."