Every organisation should include patents, trademarks, designs, copyrights as well as trade secrets and their management in its business strategy.
How do you do this?
Selecting the proper IP management approach depends on a company's business model, the technology sector and its market applications.
What to look out for in your intellectual property strategy?
Here are the five business scenarios that we deal with at the Enterprise Europe Network, with some insights on what to look out for when it comes to IP.
IP management advice is essential to prepare the right marketing strategy, in order to avoid the infringement of rights attached to other existing products and to better prepare for competition in foreign markets. It is also important to be prepared to put in place confidential procedures with new distributors and suppliers.
Make sure you fully value the role of IP as an enabling factor in innovation management. An IP strategy for innovation will have to include prior art search, freedom to operate, IP due diligence, trade secrets procedures, value articulation using different IPRs, and IP sharing procedures in collaborative innovation projects.
3. Technology transfer and IP brokering or licensing
IP management during technology transfer and open innovation processes will support the preparation of the technology offer or technology scouting. Once the right partners identified, IP will need to be part of confidentiality procedures for initial meetings, further negotiation phases and future relationships with potential licensees.
4. Scale-ups and access to finance
The role of IP changes over time as a company moves through the different stages of its commercial life. IP strategy and management have to develop along with the company, supporting it as it evolves from start-up to a more mature enterprise. To support access to finance (loans, VC, etc.), business plans must include a correct valuation of owned IP and intangible assets. At this stage, a company may also look into creating a start-up/spinoff or new entrepreneurial venture based on IP exploitation.
5. IP in Horizon 2020 funding
It is important to look at knowledge management and IP sharing in consortium agreements in projects supported by the EU’s funding programme for research and innovation, Horizon 2020. There will have to be ex-ante due diligence procedures for research and development projects, and there should be an IP strategy for international exploitation of research results.