Intellectual property is increasingly being recognised as a highly valuable and also unique commodity within organisations of all shapes and sizes. As the UK transitions away from its conventional heavy industry and manufacturing base, the need to manage your intellectual property becomes increasingly relevant, as it may become the company’s primary asset in the future. Click here to find more about New York Intellectual Property Association are here
There are three key stages to ensuring successful intellectual property management within a business.
Knowledge is the first step.
One of the most important problems that many companies face is a lack of knowledge and appreciation of their intellectual property. This is the fundamental skill in IP management, and it is difficult to progress to stage 2 – security until everyone in the organisation understands what constitutes their specific intellectual property.
This lack of understanding of what constitutes an organization’s intellectual property contributes to sensitive knowledge being given away without consideration for its importance. This is more common at the junior levels of companies, but it can also happen at the highest levels.
It is important for all companies to examine what constitutes their IP, and then to not stop there, but to take it a step further by ensuring that all workers are aware of this. If this is accomplished, the organization’s IP management will progress to stage 2.
Security is the second stage.
After ensuring that all employees are aware of the organization’s intellectual property, it is possible to focus on safeguarding this precious asset at all costs.
IP law is confusing in several respects, but it helps to shield IP owners in general. A simple training programme could be all that is required to get everyone thinking about how they can protect the company’s intellectual property. Alternatively, having a clear checklist to use when receiving any request for information will help protect intellectual property.
Stage 3: Increasing the value of the asset
You will move on to stage 3 of intellectual property management until everyone understands what constitutes their IP and what can be done internally and/or legally to secure it.
This is the stage at which opportunities to increase the profit and return on IP rights can be found. Consider the case of a university that has conducted extensive research in a field with commercial potential. Is this something that should just be given away for free? Of course not; everything, including intellectual property, has a market value.
Many organisations have come up with extremely creative ways to increase the perceived value of their IP rights and ensure their own continued success simply by brainstorming new opportunities.