The rows of the “Management of Intellectual Property by Type of Innovation Environment” figure contain attributes a company would wish to find, or create for itself, in the ideal or desired IP environment in order to obtain the most value from its investment in invention and innovation. There are 15 such attributes that typically affect innovation planning, negotiation, and return on investment (ROI). Most importantly for companies wishing to engage in innovation activities, the “Management of Intellectual Property by Type of Innovation Environment” figure elements describe the ideal position a licensor can provide (”Portfolio Attribute” elements), the most advantageous IP environment a licensee can typically find (”Desired IP Landscape” elements), and the areas both parties can work together on afterwards to sustain the IP’s value (”Behavior” elements) in each sector.
The elements of a few rows of the table require some definition. The first yellow row is the overall patent density in a field. A patent desert is defined as a field in which there are tens of patent families present. A patent forest, on the other hand, is defined as a field in which many hundreds of patent families are present. Patent jungles are areas in which lots of activity has produced tens of thousands of documents. Not all fields benefit from having the same IP density. Brand new areas of scientific inquiry are ideally devoid of previous IP, allowing the first movers to capture grandfather IP positions that can be later leveraged. This is typically an area for government, university, and high-risk venture funding of R&D initiatives that are then protected by small numbers of key patents.
In the middle yellow row called “competitor citation position” the characterization of an IP predator is used to describe an entity that has over 10% of the citing art. Sharks in this context are used to describe entities that have over 30% of the citing art.
The last yellow row refers to intellectual property aggregators sometimes called trolls. Because of the ROI required for this business model to succeed there has been only one R&D game type which so far has proven to be attractive to trolls. This is in the area of Battles for Architecture found in the center of the “Management of Intellectual Property by Type of Innovation Environment” figure.
The first orange “Behavior” row characterizes IP holders’ posture versus infringers. The term aggressive in this context refers to a company’s proactive search for other entities that may offer products or services that infringe the claims of their IP. Don’t look, on the other hand, refers to a very passive approach on the intellectual property owner’s part whereby the time and expense required to look for infringers does not have a business chance of success in generating an ROI that meets the company’s hurdle rate or target internal rate of return.
Using this background information of the company’s business lines and high level strategic intellectual property guidance further detail for specific IP strategies can be created.