Overview of an IP strategy
Intellectual property (IP) is a valuable asset for any type of business ranging from early start-ups to multi-national corporations. The obvious reason to capture your IP assets is to protect your technology and gain a competitive advantage. However, there are other ways to maximise the value of your IP assets. For example, you could drive new revenue opportunities and reduce your R&D expenditure. It is therefore important that your IP strategy aligns with your business strategy.
There are typically three aspects that form part of an IP strategy:
- IP protection
- Review of your existing IP assets and IP of others
- Utilisation of your IP assets
Every business has IP that can be protected. There are a number of ways to protect different aspects of your IP. Inventions and technological improvements can be protected by patents, whilst the shape or particular look of a product can be protected by registering a design. Your brand, such as your business name or logo, can be protected by registering trade marks. Patents, trade marks and design rights form registrable rights. Other IP rights that cannot be registered but need to be managed are copyright and trade secrets.
We can help you formulate a strategy how to best capture and protect the IP of your business so that it aligns with the commercial goals of your business.
Utilisation of your IP
Ultimately, the goal of a successful IP strategy is to utilise your IP assets to their full extent. Utilisation of your IP assets involves more than merely having a competitive advantage over your competitors. A successful IP strategy helps you reduce your R&D expenditure, identify opportunities in adjacent markets and even open new markets.
Review of your IP assets and IP of others
A review of your IP assets looks at whether your products and services are still captured by your registered IP. For example, you may have protected a new technology by filing a patent 5 years ago. Since then, R&D undertaken on this technology has pivoted slightly and the question comes up whether your current R&D is still protected by the patent.
The review within your IP strategy also considers IP assets of others. In this part of the review, we look at whether you are infringing someone else’s IP or whether you could collaborate with another party to ultimately save costs in your R&D expenditure.