IP Strategy – Part II

by Thomas Frasher on October 16, 2009

IP Strategy Part IIIn the last article we discussed the need to create a cohesive IP strategy, in this article I’ll discuss the first step in creating your strategy.
Like every article I’ve written on this topic, I’ll remind you that you need help, and you need the best help you can get.

Strategy Creation:
A few guidelines to help things along:
1. Be clear on why you are creating an IP strategy. All reasons are valid, some will work better than others. For example: if your goal in creating an IP strategy is to to tell all of your friends how many patents you have; you may want to think a bit more deeply about what you will do with those assets (make no mistake they are assets if treated right) and how much you are planning on spending to create them. On the other hand if you plan to exploit what you have invented, create a new business, and bring new products to the marketplace, then you are thinking in the right direction for strategy development.
2. Determine the direction you want your IP portfolio to grow into, find your market landscape. For instance; if you are making wire coat hangers and you suddenly come up with a new idea to make them cheaper, faster or in some other way better for the same cost, that’s a great invention in your current market landscape. If, on the other hand you make coat hangers and you come up with a great new telescope design, you may want to think about the new invention within the direction of your market landscape and the way you prosecute that innovation in the marketplace. Is it a different marketplace? The direction component of your strategy helps to keep costs under control. Costs can include nearly everything you can think of, from time spent thinking about the innovation, to the actual patent write up and filing fees, and everything in between.
3. Determine what areas you are NOT going to explore, such as a wire coat hanger manufacturer working on auto parts cleaning machines. It doesn’t matter what limits you put in place but you must at least think about them, and draw limits that suit your situation and remember they are your limits, you can change them any time you wish.
4. Determine when you will start, never when you will stop, and start. Create consequences for not starting, and rewards for getting going. Innovation should never stop, it must be continuous if you are to be successful in the long term.
This all sounds like a lot of work and, that said, it’s not a trivial task. However, as humans, we are what we practice, and our practices define us. Therefore you need to develop a practice of creativity, and a practice of managing your strategy.

So, having read all the above; It’s time to get moving!

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