Truly integrated processes however also involve excellent communication skills. Communication of IP processes comprises three elements. These are: (1) educating all levels of the organization on the lognormal distribution of value, its implications, and deployment of company resources accordingly, (2) selecting what forms of intellectual capital to track, and (3) using a mixture of software and wall maps as the best approach to allow access to IP related information.

By putting in this effort companies are able to easily understand if the portfolio is meeting the needs the Corporation. Top management can also understand whether or not the Corporation is extracting full value from the portfolio and if the portfolio reflects the Corporation’s current business strategy.

Relationship Between Business and IP Needs

The first step in integrating IP and business processes is to use the IP management hierarchy to match the five primary business needs with the corresponding IP needs that the company’s processes need to fulfill. This is shown in the “Relationship Between Business and IP Needs” figure. Using this figure starts at the bottom of the pyramid which is analogous to Maslow’s hierarchy of “needing air to breathe” as a primary need. The concept is that each business and corresponding IP need at the bottom must be met and fulfilled, in an 80/20 sense, before it’s appropriate for an organization to move onto working on fulfilling the next higher business need. Thus the primary business need of “never to surprise” the board of directors or shareholders takes precedence over all other needs. CEOs, directors, and managers who fail to keep this priority often find themselves without a job. The corresponding IP need is to make sure that the company has freedom to operate. Failure to do so can result in company death and unemployment for employees. Moving up the ladder, the next business need is to sustain an advantaged market position. This can be done by a variety of techniques, but the role of intellectual property is to make sure that protected products are created and that the portfolio of intellectual properties is well-managed. Only when these first two levels are under control and operating smoothly can a company go on to fully exploit all of its assets including the geographic out-licensing of intellectual property. Because of business competition, the next need of a Corporation is to speed its introduction of new products and services. Licensing is a vehicle where intellectual property personnel can contribute to open innovation initiatives. Finally, for companies that are able to achieve the highest level of being able to influence the industry on the adoption of which new technologies are appropriate, they needed a team of integrated business, regulatory, standards, R&D, marketing, and IP personnel to do so.