Make the most of what you have

By Ana Popescu

Monetary concerns are some of the most common issues out there for IP managers. These concerns stream from limited budgets and the need to balance those limited budgets with comprehensive global protection (from filing IP to assertion, defensive litigation actions and other). Let’s face it, there is always something more that can be done…one more patent filed, one more country covered, one more report requested….

The situation should make getting the most out of the resources that you have a priority for any IP manager. And indeed optimization exercises looking at the portfolio for areas in which too much is spent to protect too little or too little is spent to protect an idea are now becoming more common; however, most of the time these exercises are still seen as cost cutting instead of resource maximization.

Getting the most out of what you have requires working within the resource constraints of your department (company) and putting more focus on maximizing returns on those resources: all the way from idea development (looking at reducing risks in R&D processes, considering claim construction carefully in the patent drafting process, and creating alternative idea protection mechanisms) to market launch, litigation management and life cycle management.

A shift in perspectives implies introducing technology and market insights in any portfolio optimization exercise and product development early on; examining relationships and if and how building such relationships will benefit the company, as well as alternative uses of IP that could potentially reap greater returns. This means maximizing resources spent on FTO analysis, landscape and other such reports with technological and market competitive insights as well tapping into the pool of knowledge of your company.

IP strategy has overall become great for shaping the way you interact within the industry.  The winner will not necessarily be the one who spends the least, but the one who makes the most of what he spends.

Image credit: Happy Sleepy

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