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Innovation

3 Tactics for Strategic IP Harvesting

By January 17, 2022No Comments

Monetizing intellectual property is much like gathering crops at the end of the season, hence the phrase “IP harvesting.” Engineers, researchers, programmers, and other employees tasked with innovation can ideate endlessly—and successfully—but if there isn’t any formal procedure to move inventions through the innovation lifecycle, it’s difficult for a company to benefit from these novel ideas. Businesses that realize the importance of harvesting patentable IP from novel ideas set themselves up for strategic R&D investments and commercial success.

These three tactics could help your organization harvest IP.

1. Formalize Ideation

You can’t harvest without first sowing seeds and caring for plants. No innovative company is complete without a culture that prioritizes ideation and iteration. Using a tool to brainstorm and improve upon solutions helps engineers and other R&D team members uncover and document truly novel ideas. IP.com’s IQ Ideas Plus™ finds relevant prior art and sparks new ideas for consideration, as well as helping engineers and scientists write higher quality invention disclosures.

Approaching the early stages of the innovation lifecycle with the same attention to strategy as patenting, commercialization, and portfolio management sets a company up for successful IP harvesting.

2. Educate Engineers

Historically, engineers have been shielded from the specifics of patenting and other IP strategy decisions. However, this approach has kept companies from protecting likely patentable inventions. Engineers tend to overestimate the nonobvious requirement of patentability. This keeps them from sharing ideas they feel are obvious (but are most likely novel in the eyes of a patent examiner) with their IP team.

When an engineer or scientist better understands patentability, they can clearly communicate the novel elements of their invention with the IP team. This minimizes the miscommunication and delays that can hinder IP harvesting and, therefore, monetization.

3. Track Success

Tracking successes informs strategy at all points of the innovation lifecycle, including IP harvesting. Which performance indicators your business chooses to document depends on what your overall innovation goals and business objectives are. Many R&D departments find it valuable to track innovation disclosures, patent applications, and granted patents, both the total number of each and as ratios to one another.

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