Become a mythbuster!
The role of IP Strategists or Patent Strategists is without a doubt unclear to many companies. The fact that an IP Strategist offer advice on why and how companies should spend money on IP (Intellectual Property) because they need to, not because they can, is often unknown – unfortunately.
I once met an in many ways experienced CEO of an innovative small sized company. He insisted that it’s fruitless to even think about patents, or other intellectual property for that matter. His perception was that this was something of interest to larger companies, and often used against small companies to their disadvantage.
Without proof it´s nothing but talk
Of course I didn’t agree with him on this "fruitless”-statement and after a long discussion I convinced him of the need to develop an IP-strategy. I ended up becoming his IP adviser, starting by mapping the company’s intellectual assets and making it clear to him what the actual value was.
About one year later we had another meeting and by then he had implemented the IP-strategy. This time we had a different discussion. He had totally changed opinion on the value of IP and had ongoing negotiations to start a collaboration with one of his former competitors, confident of the value of his company’s own intellectual assets.
6 steps to build on your IP-strategists "formula”
If you want to bust the myth; IP is just for large companies – start by following these few simple steps. They will give you a sharp competitive edge:
- List all major intellectual assets of your company such as; business plan, customer lists, manuals, agreements, copyrights, trademarks (including logotypes), inventions and more).
- Check which asset could and should be protected by which type of IP.
- Map competitors’ IP in relation to the company’s potential IP.
- File for IP protection in those countries you have your primary market and in those countries where competitors are active.
- Sum up the result of all filings in an IP portfolio.
- Decide on a plan for follow-up and act upon it.
One more advice
I almost forgot the most important step. You need to analyse and combine all of your company´s IP (trademarks, patents, designs, copyright, agreements…) and align them to the company’s business strategy. Then you know that your Intellectual assets help your business more than they hinder.
Myth – IP is just for large companies. Fact – Small companies need to be IP savvy.
What´s your best advice?
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