Table of Contents:
Why your business needs an intellectual property strategy and how to develop one
As a follow-through on our previous discussion on developing a successful intellectual property (IP) strategy for your company, today, we are going to zoom in on the importance of developing an IP strategy for your brand or business, and some more helpful tips on how to develop an effective IP strategy that is most suitable to your company and its needs.
If you are a brand or digital content owner, you deal with intellectual property assets in your day-to-day. Whether it be in the use of visual elements in order to establish and improve your brand identity, in the creation and management of your business website, or in the use and protection of trade secrets, the fact is that your brand works with intellectual property assets. This alone is enough reason to understand the need for an IP strategy and the ways in which an effective IP strategy is executed.
In today’s article, we will cover:
An IP strategy, short for intellectual property strategy, is a plan of action that addresses the following:
An IP strategy focuses on intellectual property assets–a class of business assets that is non-tangible but nonetheless just as valuable as physical assets. To recall, intellectual property assets are your business’s patents, trade secrets, business data, software, programs, websites, content, trademarks, and so forth. These assets, if managed properly, help any brand or business to gain competitive advantages over others in the market, and drive revenue opportunities for the enterprise. Of course, this is apart from the recognized benefit of intellectual property registration, which enables you to assert your exclusive rights over your original intellectual property creations.
An intellectual property strategy varies for every brand or business. While there are standard measures for developing an effective IP strategy, the reality is that each enterprise owns different intellectual property assets and has different goals and objectives when managing them.
At the most basic level, an intellectual property strategy for your brand or business works to protect your intellectual property assets in order to realize their maximum benefits. As has been discussed in a related post on developing a successful intellectual property strategy for your company, an IP strategy, which is made to align with your company’s business objectives, works to safeguard the company’s intellectual property assets and maximize their commerciality. In doing so, this strategy ultimately helps the business by directly contributing to the business’s financial goals and growth objectives. The revenue recovery aspect of an intellectual property strategy stems from the fact that revenue that would otherwise be lost to counterfeit goods, scammers, or bad actors, is reverted back to the real business.
As in all kinds of business plans and strategies, an effective IP strategy is one that should be relevant to the business. It should be able to go hand in hand with your company’s vision and objectives, while also taking into consideration the usual challenges that your brand or business encounters, which affect the realization of these goals.
Thus, to emphasize what has been mentioned earlier, given that every business will have unique business goals and business challenges, an effective IP strategy is one that is specifically tailored to harmonize with these unique circumstances.
While it may seem easy to list down the things you want to happen regarding your intellectual property assets. Typically, brand owners and digital content creators want the same things: protection, profitability, and process optimization. However, merely listing down these desired results is not what an IP strategy is for and is all about. Rather, an effective IP strategy should be able to expressly describe how your business and its people would attain these results. Correspondingly, it should be able to operationalize the measures and programs outlined and explained therein.
An effective IP strategy should not be understandable by just the higher-ups of the team. More importantly, it should not be made known to only a few select people within the organization. It must be noted that everyone in the company, in one way or another, deals with the intellectual property assets of the business. As such, a company’s IP strategy should be presented and explained well to all members of the team, so that they will also get to contribute to, and be instrumental in, the entire process of intellectual property management and protection.
Of course, intellectual property protection within the company cannot be carried out if, in the first place, you do not know what exactly you are seeking to protect. Thus, writing an IP strategy must start with identifying the IP assets of the business. To recap, these are your business’ patents, trade secrets, business data, software and programs, websites and contents therefrom, trademarks, and so forth. Determine which of these your brand or business owns, or even plans to own, so that you can incorporate them and keep them in mind as you write your IP strategy.
Your employees should not be excluded in the process, especially if they actually deal with IP assets on a daily basis. . Oftentimes, they have the most practical inputs and useful insights for developing a business IP strategy. Hence, if possible, involve your employees when you start writing your IP strategy or even early in the brainstorming process that would most likely precede and kick-start the writing proper.
As a successful IP strategy is one that helps your brand or business gain a competitive advantage over others in the market, it would also be useful to keep in mind your competitors when you start to write your own IP strategy. Certainly, incorporating a commercial and market analysis in the development of your company’s IP strategy contributes to attaining such an advantage over your commercial rivals.
As a final point, it must be reiterated that an IP strategy is a work in progress. Your IP strategy should evolve as your business framework and strategies evolve, so you have to be open to continually refining your IP strategy to keep up with these changes.
Once you have an IP strategy in place, not only do you have to be open to revising it, but you should also be open to leveraging third-party tools that can help scale the process of monitoring and detection of online infringement 24/7! Find out more about Red Points’ Intellectual Property software to see how you can take your IP strategy to the next level.