Featured Post for Licensing Executives “Writing an IP Strategy”
The Following 5 Steps Are A General, High Level Guide To Developing And Auditing An Intellectual Property Strategy:
As a business tool intellectual property strategy varies in its use over the decade’s long product adoption lifecycle. At a very high level, IP strategies during the start-up and development phase of new products and businesses differ from those strategies in the growth and mature phases.
- In the development phase the strategy overall is to create and acquire IP assets.
- In the growth phase the IP strategy shifts to making sure the assets are protecting global markets in various regions of the world.
- In the maturing phase of a product or business the objective is to prune the assets to just those that are still delivering business value.
2. KNOW THE GENERAL BUSINESS, MARKETING AND TECHNOLGY STRATEGIES OF YOUR COMPANY BEFORE DEFINING A SPECIFIC IP STRATEGY
An effective intellectual property strategy is one that is driven by and aligned with the broad business, technology, and marketing strategies of a company.
- A company’s basic business strategy drives which products to produce and tactics the company will use to create sustained competitive (e.g., low-cost producer, high-quality products, technological sophistication of products, first to market, etc.).
- These decisions then impact the technology strategy, i.e. the types of technologies (such as manufacturing processes; or product feature-oriented technologies) the company needs to develop or acquire in order to achieve these strategic goals.
- Finally, the intellectual property strategy will define the activities a company must undertake to establish intellectual property positions, create a sustainable competitive advantage around those technologies, and to deploy the technologies and intellectual property to generate value for the enterprise. These come in four general varieties:
- IP Strategies for Single Patent Products
- IP Strategies for Thousand Patent Products
- Technology Transfer Strategies
- Landmine Strategies
3. KNOW THAT IP STRATEGIES VARY BY R&D AND IP “GAME TYPES” AND THEREFORE TAILOR YOUR IP STRATEGY TO THESE ENVIRONMENTS
The manner in which various industries utilize R&D and IP to create and sustain an advantaged business position can be leveraged to formulate an effective IP Strategy. This is accomplished by using a model of R&D Game Types. The eleven R&D Game Types of this powerful model relate to industry sectors that compete in similar technology (not business) environments and typically focus their innovation methods on one class of innovation. The key elements of this model are technology and market segmentations along two axes.
- Columns in the model relate to the time and class of innovation that it takes to create a working prototype of the new product or service from a technical standpoint.
- Rows in the model relate to marketplace “approval” factors that affect time to market once a prototype has been created.
From this model, IP Strategy attributes guidance such as the optimal number of patents, patent growth rate, number of competitive IP holders, competitor’s propensity to fence in patents, IP aggregator’s presence, claim quality, claim scope, geographic coverage, and the Company’s posture towards infringers and challengers is provided.
Utilize checklists to make sure you have the information you need. Be careful to ensure that your data is robust, i.e. reflects how your senior managers actually behave versus what they say to “look good”.
A template sets out a strategic plan for “Company’s Product Line” Business that you can restructure to fit your own needs. This plan:
- Reviews strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities
- Presents a series of statements relating to “Company’s” vision, mission, values and objectives to show how the IP Strategic Plan matches the Company needs
- Sets out the Business and Product Line strategies and goals to again show how the IP Strategic Plan matches the Company needs
- Explicitly states Key IP Strategy Elements that address how the IP Strategy will prevent no business surprises, sustain an advantaged business position, speed innovation, influence and co-exist with regulatory and standards body activities, and finally allow for full exploitation of the Company’s intellectual property portfolio.
- Explicitly states Strategic IP Actions that will be implemented to achieve the above