Value of a "Business-Driven" IP Strategy  


POSTED BY Bruce Story AT 11:15 A.M. JANUARY 21, 2011

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Typically, companies view value from IP in two ways:

  1. Value Creation through protecting proprietary technology that sustains growth and higher profit margins, and
  2. Value Extraction through licensing royalties and IP enforcement awards and settlements.

To achieve value effectively, IP-savvy companies have learned to create business-aligned IP strategies. The IP strategy must be integral to the business strategy to create maximum value. The example of the timing of Gillette’s introduction of the new Fusion razor in September, 2005, followed a day later by the publication of many of their patent applications is a case in point. Utility and design patents filed on the same day covered all the relevant aspects of this new razor product platform. They had to be planning what kind of IP they needed to support this new product introduction for a long time. This would have required the coordination of engineering, legal, marketing and manufacturing. Obviously, IP strategy was a key part of their overall business strategy. Achieving these results doesn’t just happen after an IP strategy has been created. The IP strategy must be executed.

In Figure 1A, we show the ipCapital Group Strategy processes as practiced over the last 10 years with hundreds of clients. It has been effective to extract all relevant points of view as well as input solid IP-related data to consider and ultimately determine the top IP aligned business issues. ipCapital Group’s vast "play book" of IP tactics, as filtered by the IP-aligned business issues, created a collection of efficient sets of tactics to deploy to successfully obtain the goals.

Over the years, it became evident that clients embarking on deploying these tactics did not have enough Intellectual Capital Management (ICM) process knowledge to implement the chosen IP tactics. ICM process focus was needed to execute the strategy.

Business-Driven IP Strategy

Figure 1B describes the ICM process for strategy execution. We recognized it was necessary to first audit what ICM process capability existed, assist in making this process capability as efficient as possible, and then carefully add and integrate new processes as required to implement the IP strategy and tactics.

Over the last year or two, my focus has been to assist in the development of Business-Relevant IP Strategy. Ensuring the IP tactics and the related chosen ICM processes are executable using the well-known DMAIC process of process engineering and software support.

TAGS: Bruce Story | IAM | Process | Strategy
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