Innovation Posture and IP Landscape Sets the Open Innovation Approach

The “innovation posture” and “patent density” concepts are introduced in order to allow segmentation of R&D and business development initiatives into those which are best or ill-suited for an OI approach. A high level summary of such approaches is shown in the “Innovation Posture and IP Landscape Sets the Open Innovation Approach“ figure. Thus the identification of technology “needs” is a first step. The analysis of patent landscapes is the second step. When looking for technology, a company will typically find one of the following three scenarios. In the first scenario, there is little prior art. Such a situation is called a ‘patent desert’ and the only option for the company is to conduct internal research, or fund joint developments with another company or research organization. In the second scenario, labeled a ‘patent forest,’ there are hundreds of patent families already describing potentially interesting technologies. In such an environment, the company has the option to make, buy, or license art from other companies. Other options here include internal innovation or open innovation with another company. In the last scenario, it is possible to find tens of thousands of patent families in a particular technology area, a ‘patent jungle’. In this environment, it is imperative to buy or license the needed technology. Such technology often comes from research laboratories, universities, individuals or start-up organizations.

Heat Map for Open Innovation Initiatives

Upon combining the strategic posture with the patent landscape, we can develop a “Heat Map for Open Innovation Initiatives” as shown in the figure (the green area is the open innovation sweet spot).