I wonder how many people understand the importance of managing an Intellectual Property Portfolio? Companies place their focus on the obvious items like trademark and patents and sometimes fail to see how much more they can be capitalizing on such as trade secrets or trade dress for example. This is how such companies as Coca-Cola make their money, by keeping their formula a secret. What are your company’s strengths and assets? What is it about your product that makes it special and competitive?
According to CBSNews.com, “some studies suggest that intellectual property accounts for almost 80 percent of the market value of the company according to the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.” Is your company a part of this statistic? Let us discuss three ways to better manage your IP portfolio.
1. Take Inventory
In any type of company, it is necessary to always keep inventory available, whether it is a service or product, it must be available. This is important because this is how most companies make money. Customers appreciate being able to obtain what they want when they want it. Keeping track of your physical inventory or service offerings is as important as knowing what intellectual property your company already holds. Once you make that assessment, you need to check how much of that inventory is already protected by intellectual property.
Act quickly if you see that some items are not protected, you could loose the rights to protect some intellectual property later if you miss important deadlines.
Further, you will want to consider what specific pieces of the intellectual property in your portfolio offer strategic value to your company and what additional intellectual property can add additional value.
2. Create Your Process
Your goal should be to register your Intellectual Property as you create it. Allow your innovators to give you feedback on the items they are creating. Engage your employees from the bottom to the top to help with the process of creating new IP and knowing how to protect it. Utilize different methods to promote the development of new intellectual property from among your staff. Such things as employee incentives, workshops for employees to help them understand the process, and helping hands from your selected law firm can help your company with managing the different aspects of the portfolio.
3. Consider the Bigger Picture
Some companies believe that an indirect approach that does not specifically focus on cataloguing their intellectual property can still be effective. However, this approach could not be any further from the truth.
A company should think about the specific processes, ideas, and inventions that are part of your business that can be protected. This is important because these items may be able to give you an advantage in your market that may already be very oversaturated.
Also, remember to utilize enhancements and extensions to help with the future of your IP. Finally, think defensively. In boxing, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has made a fortune by successfully thriving in defensive strategies. Studying where his opponents’ moves will take them and working against them to prevent them from successfully landing punches. This mentality can also work with IP. Do not allow your competitors to thrive in the business.
With a focus on intellectual property law, the right law firm works to protect your IP so that you can focus on doing what you do best, whether that is composing music, writing, drawing, designing, creating, or developing. For a complimentary consultation, contact legal counsel for more answers to your questions.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein is not intended to be specific legal advice for your particular situation. It is meant to provide general information on the changing landscape of the law. You are encouraged to contact legal counsel for advice specific to your particular legal situation.