Inventors come up with good—even great—ideas all the time. However, not every good idea is worthy of patent protection. Patenting takes time, money, and expertise. In order to use these resources wisely, companies must prioritize patents for the inventions most likely to deliver ROI. The earlier in the innovation lifecycle that novel, nonobvious, useful ideas are identified, the more efficiently resources can be allocated.
What can we learn from innovation assessment?
With an innovation assessment framework built into the early stages of the innovation lifecycle, engineers receive immediate feedback on whether or not they should pursue an idea further. This way, only the best ideas end up with the IP team, increasing productivity and decreasing time to market.
These are benefits no company can ignore, especially as the global economy continues to face uncertainty due to COVID-19. Innovation assessment asks if an idea is:
- Patentable (novel, nonobvious, and useful), and
- Commercially viable.
An idea can be patentable while having no monetization opportunities. The opposite is also true. While it is likely an organization wants ideas that are both patentable and marketable, that is not always true. Different companies in different situations may be looking for specific answers to these questions. A comprehensive assessment looks at patentability and freedom to operate, as well as an invention’s place within the technology landscape. It may also be beneficial to determine whether a new technology fits within an organization’s overall IP and business strategies or its development would be best left to another entity.
Lastly, an innovation assessment framework can help engineers and IP professionals decide if an idea is viable as-is, or requires additional iterations to reach its full potential.
Incorporating an Innovation Assessment Tool
Determining patentability manually is almost impossible, simply because it requires comprehensive prior art search and analysis. IP.com’s IQ Ideas Plus™ uses powerful yet intuitive AI to guide engineers through innovation assessment, streamlining the innovation lifecycle and improving interdisciplinary collaboration. The tool combines ideation and evaluation, offering engineers agency and benefiting organizations as a whole.