Corporate Intellectual Property Management Programs

Dave Tyrrell, Vertex Intellectual Properties Strategies Inc.

The underlying goal of any corporate intellectual property management program is to derive the maximum value from intellectual property assets.

Steps Involved
There are five basic steps which need to be addressed in this process.

  1. Identification - Intellectual property assets are identified and catalogued.
  2. Protection - Appropriate methods for intellectual property asset protection are selected for each of the identified components.
  3. Strategy Development - Intellectual property and technology gaps are identified and a plan to acquire the needed intellectual property and technology is developed.
  4. Assessment - Alternative approaches to capitalizing on intellectual property assets are assessed.
  5. Implementation - Attractive intellectual property utilization options are acted upon.

Elements
Some of the common elements of Corporate IP Management Programs include:

  1. IP identification, cataloguing and inventorying;
  2. Process for patent strategy selection;
  3. IP protection procedures (Patents, Copyrights, Industrial Designs, Trademarks, Trade Secrets, Know-How);
  4. Employment and consulting contracts and agreements;
  5. Corporate invention policy;
  6. Non-disclosure agreements - implications and policy;
  7. Business opportunity identification:
    • Licensing-out (revenue opportunities),
    • Licensing-In (technology acquisition).

Benefits
Benefits of Corporate IP Management Programs include:

Summary
There is no standard format and plan that applies to all business situations. Each business must consider the nature of its business, the environment of the industry in which it operates, its corporate culture and its business goals, when establishing an IP management program.

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