Intellectual Property Management

Intellectual Property Management is a system that enables intellectual property (IP) owners to profit from their intangible assets while also protecting them.

But what are the main pillars of intellectual property management? What are the strategic objectives companies should consider?

Read more & learn more…

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What Are The Main Pillars of Intellectual Property Management?

The four main pillars of IP management are creation, evaluation, protection, and exploitation.

Researchers at universities are free to pursue whatever type of research they want. So, in this environment, creating commercial opportunities usually entails carrying out activities that provide high-quality and well-qualified invention disclosures.

Let us begin by raising awareness. It is critical that researchers understand the significance of technology commercialization. They must also recognize that they can initiate and support the commercialization of their technology. Another component is teaching and training. Researchers and administrative staff should be enabled to support the commercialisation in a meaningful way.

Faculties must prioritize research and teaching. They will need IPR support from the university administration in order to set up collaboration contracts with third parties and funding agencies. These contracts must include appropriate intellectual property rules that facilitate subsequent commercialization.

Most technology scouting is done at universities that have a strong commitment to innovation. TTO staff at these universities actively seek out technologies with commercial potential. However, as technology brokers and companies implementing open innovation approach universities for solutions to commercially relevant problems, there may be unstructured external triggers.

Some universities provide micro- or seed-funding for technology refinement in order to increase the likelihood and potential for commercialization of these technologies.

If the commercialization is successful, university inventors are usually financially rewarded by receiving a share of the revenue. Some universities have innovation awards and inventors' days to publicly celebrate the success and achievements of their inventors.

All of these measures are aimed at increasing the quantity and quality of inventions disclosed to the technology transfer office.

The following step, evaluation, must ensure that only the most promising projects are approved for intellectual property protection. Because resources are limited, it is critical to focus on specific cases and the type and level of IP protection required for commercialization. Protection ensures the integrity of the IP and lays the groundwork for the exploitation stage.

Businesses typically use the IP they protect to support their business strategy, such as the products and services they sell. IP licensing is increasingly becoming a part of their overall business strategy. IPRs are also emerging as a business development tool for universities, allowing them to initiate additional collaborative research projects with licensees. 

Underutilized IPRs are licensed to third parties and/or may serve as the foundation for spin-off companies in order to maximize value creation for all parties involved. Another method of exploitation is to assign or sell the technology to a third party.

To ensure the overall quality, transparency, and efficiency of the IP Management process, the necessary tools, processes, recommendations, and guidelines must be implemented from the start.

How Companies Can Use Intellectual Property Strategies To Their Own Specific Business Models?

Businesses are fundamentally different types of organizations, with vastly different sets of activities and goals that influence how they approach IP strategy.

Universities are clearly focused on teaching and learning, knowledge advancement through fundamental and applied research, and knowledge dissemination to benefit communities and society. They have no manufacturing or sales activities, so they are not the primary users of intellectual property.

The more commercially relevant aspect of these knowledge dissemination activities, which relates to the creation and commercialization of the university's IP, involves the transfer of knowledge to the business community via technology transfer.

Meanwhile, businesses tend to focus on developing, manufacturing, and/or selling a specific type of product or service for a specific market, or on generating revenue from commercializing a widely used technology through licensing and selling their intellectual property (IP). They can thus be both users and brokers of their own IP.

IP is important to both universities and businesses because it helps them achieve their mission or business goals. As a result, whatever overall business strategy they develop, a well-defined IP strategy will be an essential component of it.

There are two ways to look at IP strategy.

  • Businesses that participate in R&D programs are also interested in determining the best strategies for their company on this front.
  • The second focus is on all functions and objectives related to the commercial application of intellectual property to gain a competitive advantage. The commercial world determines the specific IP strategy required to engage in a specific business sector or market, with a strong emphasis on IP optimization. This aspect of IP strategy will fall under the purview of university spin-outs and new technology start-ups, as well as existing businesses.

Universities typically have a commercial strategy for out-licensing and divesting themselves of their intellectual property (IP), but it differs from that of businesses in that universities do not directly engage in the development, manufacturing, or sale of products and services.

When Developing and Protecting Intellectual Property, What Are The Strategic Objectives Companies Should Consider?

To begin, you must decide whether you want to "monopolize" your technology or allow free access to it. There are three possibilities here. The first is to publish the technology and make it available to everyone. This prevents monopolies from forming. The wider application of technology encourages further innovation and, hopefully, further improvements for the benefit of all. The second goal is to protect the technology through patents and other forms of intellectual property. As a patent grants the right to exclude others from using the protected technology, this may result in the owner gaining a "monopoly." The third is to maintain the technology as secret know-how, either because a strong patent may not be granted, or because you do not want the workings of the invention to be publicly disclosed for others to copy.

Universities may devise a strategy to keep a patent application active for a limited time. If they are unable to find a licensee, they may abandon the application to avoid additional costs. They must also have a strategy in place for geographically protecting the invention. The countries they choose will be determined by the commercial viability of the technology. Patent owners should consider how to enhance the status of the initial invention by making it a more commercially attractive opportunity. This could mean, for example, carrying out additional research to develop further applications of the technology, or technologies that complement it. The strategy is to create a valuable IP portfolio that ring-fences the products and services in a field of commercial interest and that may also include other valuable forms of IP protection.

A strategy for monetizing a company's intellectual property may be included in revenue-generating activities. Out-licensing, outright sale, co-development of IP, or the formation of a new business entity or spin-off to capitalize on the value of the IP could all be options.

In order to maintain its competitive advantage, a company may also need to expand its intellectual property portfolio in areas where it has gaps. Through acquisitions and licensing, an open innovation strategy that includes collaborating with other companies and public research organizations on research that cannot be completed in-house can provide access to new technologies and intellectual property (IP).

A strategy for monetizing a company's intellectual property may be included in revenue-generating activities. Out-licensing, outright sale, co-development of IP, or the formation of a new business entity or spin-off to capitalize on the value of the IP could all be options.

In order to maintain its competitive advantage, a company may also need to expand its intellectual property portfolio in areas where it has gaps. Through acquisitions and licensing, an open innovation strategy that includes collaborating with other companies and public research organizations on research that cannot be completed in-house can provide access to new technologies and intellectual property (IP).

Revenue-generating activities may include a strategy for monetizing a company's intellectual property. This could include out-licensing, outright sale, co-development of IP, or the formation of a new business entity or spin-off to capitalize on the value of the IP.

A company may also need to build its IP portfolio in areas where it has gaps in order to maintain its competitive advantage. An open innovation strategy that includes collaborating with other companies and public research organizations on research that cannot be completed in-house can provide access to new technologies and intellectual property (IP) through acquisitions and licensing.