1) Explain what happened to the Gore-Tex brand after the patent expired. What activity can firms use to try to maintain any advantage developed during the patent protection phase?
When a patent expires, generally around 20 years after the original filing; the inventor no longer has the exclusive rights to his or her invention thereby opening up the said patent to everyone to use. At this point other companies can offer comparative products at reduced prices. Gore-Tex was smart to take advantage of their own patent and expand the product line to include other products using the same technology. The company is overall smart by also not just relying on only the Gore-Tex technology but also expand into other areas.
2) List some of the wide range of products where the Gore-Tex fabric has been applied.
Some of the wide range of products where the Gore-Tex that has been applied are breathable fabric for coats; advanced the science of regenerating tissues destroyed by disease or traumatic injuries; developed next-generation materials for printed circuit boards and fiber optics; and pioneered new methods to detect and control environmental pollution. On their website they even offer they offer Raincoats, coats, back-packs, shoes, trousers, soft shell jackets, gloves, socks, hunter hats, baseball hat, gaiters, and bike hats all for men, women and kids.
3) It seems that Gore Associates is heavily oriented towards technology; what are some of the dangers of being too heavily focused on technology?
Some of the dangers of being too heavily focused on technology are, losing employees to competitors, creating products that can cost your organization to lose money if it is not selling, and the product being created could be too complicated for the targeted audience. When too many projects are going on based on technology the costs can become astronomical and can weigh down the company by tying up resources, both physical and monetary. Sometimes in developing more and more companies will lose sight of the initial goal and/or come up with too many variables and loose the opportunity.
4) Cooperatives and share-ownership schemes provide many attractions and benefits, but there are also limitations; discuss these.
The limitations of cooperatives and share-ownership schemes are that, any decrease in performance and fall in value of the shares can cause enormous resentment within the firm as they see the value of their savings decrease.
5) What has been the Gore strategy to achieving success in its markets? How is this strategy now being challenged?
The Gore strategy to achieving success in its markets has been its diversity of the product and allowing employees to have opportunities to invest. Being creative in branding also helps the company’s image.