Maximizing Value from Intellectual Property (IP)
The Solution Infusion can help you make smart choices in crafting a solid IP strategy to ensure you gain the maximum value from your technology.
A granted patent is a good start at providing value from a technology. Having multiple patents in a technology area increases the odds of maximizing value from the long term sustainable competitive advantage patents provide.
But patents require resources and money to obtain, so the patents must be strategically chosen. It’s often said that failing to plan is planning to fail. As one enters a new technology field, strategically planning a series of IP filings is the best way to maximize value from IP.
That’s easily said but hard to do. In my experience, I’ve learned many lessons on how to develop and execute strong IP Strategies, and it’s one service I offer through The Solution Infusion.
In a simple 1-pager I can’t share all I know, but I can offer some basics to consider in an IP strategy. A solid IP Strategy needs to consider:
- What are the business relevant solutions I have created or should try to create?
- What might competition try to respond with, and is there a way I can seek IP protection on that even if I might not take it to market myself?
- What are all the forms of IP protection I should consider seeking?
Regarding the first point, many think of an inventor toiling in a lab to solve a problem and suddenly they yell “Eureka!”. Patent lawyers come running in to file the patent and that’s it – job done. Yet, the most game-changing innovations create a cascading series of innovations building from the original.
Look at the innovation occurring in automobiles after Henry Ford’s initial contribution and in personal computing after the early contributions of Gates, Allen, Jobs, Wozniak, and Wayne. The real money didn’t come from the first innovation, the real money came from improving on the basics and leveraging them in a series of new products and services. A solid IP plan considers “what comes next” after the initial innovation and seeks to cover as many uses as possible. Ideally, filings are spread out over time to extend the life of the strategic competitive advantage.
Regarding #2, it’s rare when we find a solution that we have just 1. If we only file on our “favorite” but there are options which are similar (but not our favorite), someone else could go to market with those options and compete effectively vs. our favorite. This eats away at our potential market share, and therefore the rate of return on our investment. If we own the nearest options, we control who can and can’t use them. We might even elect to license out certain options to gain licensing revenue.
Regarding #3, if we work in a particular area, we tend to file IP in those areas but not others. For example, people who specialize in materials often file patents solely on the new material they develop. They might have ideas for the material’s use, but many don’t file on the uses. Filing on the material, its potential uses, and even the method of making of the material and/or products using the material broadens the coverage and gives the inventor greater leverage in the market.
If the above sounds like a lot of work, I agree that it can be. However, if done smartly, work can be minimized. And, if you don’t do it, someone will. They will gain the value from it – not you. The Solution Infusion can help you make smart choices in crafting a solid IP strategy to ensure you gain the maximum value.
To Learn More Contact Mark
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