Intellectual property is a valuable business asset. As companies incorporate AI and other advanced technologies into their business strategies, as well as look for ways to cut costs in an increasingly competitive global economy, IP becomes an even more important element of business decision making.
To strategically incorporate IP into your business decisions, consider these three questions.
1. Are your IP and business strategies synergetic?
You likely have a well-documented IP strategy, as well as a deliberate business strategy. As your business matures and your industry becomes more sophisticated, it becomes more important that your IP and business strategies align. What alignment looks like is likely unique to your business. It may include:
- Protecting IP in all of the geographic areas you do business in, or will do business in.
- Integrating IP into all the areas of business where it can have a valuable role.
- Focusing R&D resources on developing innovations that meet business goals.
2. What types of IP do you hold?
IP can be protected in a variety of ways, depending on what type of asset it is and how it benefits your company. Having publicly disclosed IP, whether a patent or defensive publication, can give you some peace of mind when working with third parties. Trade secrets may be more difficult to protect if you’re relying on contractors, distributors, and other partners to do business. There is no right answer when choosing how to protect—or utilize—IP. Your company will determine the best options for its specific innovations, its budget, its business goals, its risk tolerance, and more.
3. How do you measure impact?
IP is one of the most important pieces of your business. However, without an IP strategy aligned with overall objectives, novel ideas can fail to drive a business forward. Innovating for the sake of innovating is generally not good business. Shift your perspective to consider IP rights as both legal and business assets. With the right performance indicators, it’s possible to identify monetization potential and other business considerations earlier in the innovation cycle.