Intellectual property also affects the manner in which a company grows and builds the technology upon which its business is based. This is shown in the “How Intellectual Property Influences What To Create” figure. When a company is looking for growth it either starts from a market push standpoint shown in the bottom left of the figure, or a market pull methodology shown in the upper left part of the figure. Once a concept is developed it is run through the decision tree to decide if the development strategy should be to lead, partner, or fast-follow. Utilizing intellectual property for this purpose greatly improves the productivity and return on investment of technical and business development activities.
Other processes use the business asset of intellectual property to support sole sourcing, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, cross-licensing, pooling intellectual property and donation. Such assets represent an investment of employees’ hours and company cash, must be aligned with business strategy to be useful, can be sold, licensed for cash, traded, and to be value must have a positive ROI. From a business perspective these assets are often perceived as an investment versus a cost.