Mind the Gap: Future-Proof Your IP Strategy for Innovation and Risk Management
Just how resilient is your intellectual property strategy? Given the growing commercial importance of intellectual property (IP) assets and the dynamic nature of the modern R&D landscape, it’s a critical question that many businesses simply can’t ignore.
Simultaneous growth in the volume and value of IP assets and is adding to the pressure on companies to future-proof their IP strategies around expertise, processes, and data. Intangible assets, including IP, currently account for approximately 84% of the value of the S&P 500 – that’s roughly $20 trillion – according to a study by the global professional services firm, AON. Not surprisingly, the number of global patent applications is soaring, totaling 3.3 million in 2018, marking an annual increase every year since 2009. The volume of scientific literature is expanding as well, with about 3 million articles published annually.
Sustainable innovation and risk mitigation requires a holistic approach to IP management based on sound expertise, effective processes, and accurate data. In this blog, we look at some of the best ways to future-proof your IP strategy by closing common gaps among these facets of IP management – as highlighted in our recent whitepaper.
Eliminate Organizational Knowledge Gaps by Transforming Expertise
Organizational IP strategies, carefully honed over many years by experienced colleagues and trusted professionals, provide businesses with a unique competitive advantage. However, for many reasons, IP expertise has traditionally resided among a small number of experienced experts – even as it became more important to the success of the larger enterprise.
Now, the IP function is under pressure to fill an increasing number of roles, even as budgets remain tight and staffing contracts in many companies. Unsurprisingly, companies are reconsidering how their IP resources are managed to add new expertise, meet workload needs, and make organizations more agile. The trouble is, deep legal and technical expertise takes decades of experience to build, and IP executives say balancing growth in IP demands with tighter resources is among their greatest challenges, according to a survey by IP Global Exchange.
Given the growing value of IP and the ever-present challenge of organizational churn, it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to have robust knowledge transfer and succession plans to ensure this information is not lost as roles transition or when experienced searchers retire or leave.
To address these risks, more companies are augmenting in-house IP search and analysis with outsourced services. With extensive experience in IP and technical domains, service providers can deliver fast, accurate and affordable custom searches and analyses, giving companies the agility they need to expand IP into new areas and minimize disruptions to their innovation strategies.
Strengthen the IP Pipeline by Addressing Process Gaps
IP continues to gain importance across companies to support strategic business decisions for improving innovation, addressing competitive threats, and navigating market risks. IP is being tapped for business insights by a much broader range of stakeholders than ever before. In part, these changes have been hastened by the growing trend for IP analysis to be used more broadly across the R&D lifecycle to better inform decisions driving investment. Whether it’s the early identification of new drug targets, more accurate predictions of biological activity, or the design of safer and more relevant clinical trials, IP analysis plays a vital role in accelerating R&D, minimizing wasted investment, and ensuring promising ideas aren’t scrapped.
To fully realize the benefits that come with company-wide engagement with IP, companies must align roles, procedures and standards for using assets. Documenting processes and using technology are vital for capturing and maintaining institutional knowledge as people and businesses change.
By providing greater access to the tools needed for discovering R&D insights, everyone can use the same high-quality IP information at all stages of the innovation lifecycle. This way, businesses can maximize organizational strengths to make better decisions and ultimately direct investment to ideas with the most potential.
Additionally, companies are investing in auditing and applying IP assets to strengthen competitive analysis, analyze potential mergers and acquisitions, and determine the viability of in-licensing strategies. Missing a single piece of key data can mean missing opportunities. Companies are turning to experienced service providers, such as CAS, with diverse business and IP expertise to provide search and analytics of human-curated data that provide a more complete view of markets, helping them see all potential opportunities and threats.
Maximize the Value of Existing IP Assets
As the value and volume of commercial IP assets grows, managing it has become a top priority for many organizations. Around 40% of IP stakeholders feel they do not have sufficient information on their own IP portfolios to support confident valuations, rapid innovation, and IP protection.
The first step in maximizing the value of your IP portfolio is to keep an up-to-date inventory of your IP assets. Databases must be harmonized and integrated around business goals and be easily searchable by all stakeholders. Here, establishing a strategically-indexed database that uses a common vocabulary can help users more efficiently and effectively locate and retrieve data, as well as routinely track changes.
Once you have a clearer view of your own IP portfolio, it’s important to maintain its value by actively monitoring the external IP landscape. While most R&D organizations will keep abreast of their competitors’ patents, many businesses do not have a strategy in place to continually monitor for potential IP infringements, putting them at risk from new market entrants or innovations from tangential players. Technologies and services that provide access to up to date content can support timely and cost-effective IP search, analysis and alerting so businesses can maximize the value of their assets.
Optimizing IP Assets Requires New Strategies
Innovation is inherently dynamic and IP agility is critical for ensuring you have the skills, knowledge and resources to reach business objectives. Building a sustainable IP management strategy is essential.
Providing wider access to IP data, putting in place a robust knowledge transfer and succession strategy and developing a diverse and agile talent pool allows you to mitigate the risks associated with organizational churn and meet the demands of your changing business. Partnering with trusted IP experts and empowering your team with effective research tools leads to greater insights and better decisions around R&D, competitive strategies, licensing opportunities and more.
Are other gaps putting your IP strategy at risk? Download our report to read about the top five.
CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, partners with R&D organizations globally to provide actionable scientific insights that help them plan, innovate, protect their innovations, and predict how new markets and opportunities will evolve. Leverage our unparalleled content, specialized technology, and unmatched human expertise to customize solutions that will give your organization an information advantage.