Ideas may power innovation, but how an organization manages its intellectual property drives value. The numerous opportunities that exist to develop, deploy, monetize, acquire, or protect IP across innovation and patent lifecycles are key to maximizing value. These activities can be further enhanced with organizational collaboration and analytical insight.
Suppose inventors and C-suite execs can agree that innovation is about workplace culture and employee mindset. In this case, it follows that multidisciplinary teams with holistic IP perspectives can execute intellectual property management strategy. Especially when they are supported by the latest software for IP analytics and analysis. The result is optimally managed IP that reaches markets faster, stands out from competitors, performs beyond expectations, and generates revenue longer.
Overview of a Holistic IP Management Strategy
Across innovation and patent lifecycles, there are multiple opportunities to improve efficiency and reach more of your organizational goals. AI-enhanced software, collaborative tools, and patent analytics can help systemize workflows—or even automate them. The result can be better IP portfolio management for understanding opportunities, lowering costs, and mitigating risks.
IP Portfolio Management
At the heart of IP management lies IP portfolio management. And for rapidly growing companies with limited resources or organizations in red ocean markets, managing your IP portfolio in a systematic way can be daunting. An open-ended or unstructured approach to innovation and technology go-to-market process may work for a time but it can lower the odds of success, magnify the financial risks of patenting, and harm ROI.
The suite enhances collaboration by systemizing and standardizing processes, from the initial idea to commercialization, for more available resources and workflows highlighted by collaborative communication. It also ensures transparency so that each member of each team is looking at the same data and able to draw similar conclusions from it. Even for those who have deployed standardized manual portfolio management processes, IP.com has built its innovation suite to include methods to augment and automate portfolio management.
Innovators will need to assess markets and patent data early in the patent lifecycle. Using IEEE databases containing millions of data points, IP.com’s own Prior Art Database, plus corporate tree information for the latest ownership and patent family analytics, patent holders can quickly identify trends and opportunities. Recently added legal databases of IP5 countries help companies assess infringement risks and better understand market landscapes that are increasingly globalized. These can be especially useful during evidence of use, freedom to operate, and state of the art searches to establish risks and opportunities.
Visualized data like semantic maps bring data points together to improve ideas, illustrate the market potential, and enhance understanding of the competitive landscape. This allows teams to formulate multiple ideas and write disclosures that can more easily be pivoted to patent applications or defensive publications without reassessing the landscape. Actionable analytics on specific patents offer deeper assessment of IP and apply a transparent scoring system to highlight the specifics of its litigation risks, monetization potential, and overall quality.
IP.com’s innovation suite remains highly beneficial to companies even after their technologies have been commercialized, allowing for continued competitor analysis and infringement monitoring. Avoiding and uncovering infringement is a proactive process and requires finding technologies in fast-moving environments.
Better Ideation, Workflow Standardization, and Automation
Organizations can maximize opportunities with automated and augmented workflows, process standardization, and streamlined inter- and intra-team communication. When human insight is augmented with the latest, most relevant data and visualization tools, IP management can be more cost-effective, predictable, and results-oriented.
Early-stage innovation workflows contain a number of steps that act as inflection points for IP managers. Many of these revolve around communication and collaboration, which are at the heart of modern multidisciplinary IP teams. Even successful innovative organizations have to actively monitor and revise their processes to achieve optimal results and use talent to its fullest potential. This can involve automating or simply modifying workflows at key stages of the early innovation lifecycle when patents are in their infancy.
IP managers are utilizing process and task mining and improvement techniques to understand their organizations better. But implementing changes requires having the organizational infrastructure to strike while the iron is hot. Awareness of poorly written disclosures, languishing ideas, and cost-intensive idea assessment doesn’t mean a lot if you fail to act on the information. Cloud-based software like IP.com’s innovation suite can be implemented quickly and precisely. Once you’ve identified IP management weaknesses, human-lead interventions can also be useful. Editing services and professional patent searches can be deployed intermittently to add an outside perspective and ensure a more nimble business overall.
Long-term Strategic Thinking
IP.com focuses on how to improve value at every step of key innovation and patent lifecycle junctures. It should be clear that the seeds of long-term value are planted early, even before initial internal disclosures. Applying helpful and intuitive software that incorporates workflow management and automation can help free up your team for more strategic thinking and long-term approaches.
The proper execution of a long-term intellectual property management strategy differs by IP holder, with universities, large private sector firms, and non-profits all requiring different considerations; however, adaptability and market intelligence remains key for each. It is important to understand how a long-term strategy works to drive value and how opportunities can be captured at different inflection points. For instance, it often takes universities years to learn how to bring their IP to market as sole owners but they can still pursue licensing and transfer opportunities to companies ready to commercialize.
But even in this use case, universities and non-profits have to consider how their IP portfolio adds value holistically and may find monetization only comes when they offer their IP at the right time. Private companies and patent assertion entities may only have interest for a finite period of time based on changing market conditions or technology landscapes. Universities must therefore diligently monitor infringement and ongoing litigation, existing prior art, ownership information (including mergers and acquisitions), and IP trends when deciding when to leverage their technology.
These data points are key even when determining whether to patent an idea or defensively publish it. Data may also help inform whether technology holds potential as a stand-alone innovation or would be better as part of a broader portfolio–whether that is with a university or other entity.