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Posts Tagged: "Ip Strategy"

A Changing Economy Provides an Opportunity to Reassess Corporate IP Strategy

The current novel coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic fallout may provide a good opportunity to step back and reevaluate the way companies approach intellectual property. Many are already broadly reorganizing workflows for collaborative development to deal with distanced or remote working. This may provide an opportunity to reassess where IP fits within these workflows and to find opportunities for greater collaboration. The slowed—or, for some, halted—economy has also lengthened or delayed development cycles, which may give the time needed to discover new ways of strategically managing patent filings. Even those companies seeing less drastic economic effects may observe market trends toward new products or even new categories that fall outside of previous forecasting and planning, inviting more focus and less-compressed schedules.

When Strategies Collide: Freedom to Operate Clashes with Freedom of Action in Converging Industries

What happens when technology convergence fundamentally changes your patent risk profile? What do you do when your customer demands broad intellectual property (IP) indemnification and your supplier provides almost none? Industries that clear patents as a standard practice are integrating technology from industries that specifically do not clear patents. If this sounds like a potential train wreck, well, it is. We recently completed a survey of 16 companies’ activities with respect to freedom to operate. In that study, we found substantially divergent patent risk mitigation strategies. For example, as you would expect in the chemical industry, companies did full patent clearance searches of their new molecules and processes—they wanted freedom to operate. That means they searched in all their major markets for any patents they might infringe prior to releasing new products. In contrast, high technology companies did no clearance search prior to product launch, but they adopted other techniques for reducing their overall risk—they wanted freedom of action. For professionals in each Industry, their respective risk mitigation strategy makes sense. But how can it be that in one industry people review and clear patents and in another they do not? The answer lies in the specific patent risks faced in each industry, and we will explore some of those risks.

Don’t Miss the Big Picture: What Companies Get Wrong When It Comes to IP Strategies

Yesterday’s IPWatchdog webinar, “How to Evolve Your IP Strategy Over Time,” focused on the trouble companies—both large and small—can run into when they don’t take the time to audit and implement concrete strategies to ensure they are focusing on developing valuable, rather than merely voluminous, IP portfolios. Michael Gulliford, Managing Principal at Soryn IP Group, said that there is often “a disconnect between the academic exercise of building a patent portfolio and the reality of running a business. It takes discipline and time to start implementing strategies to ensure it’s worthwhile.”

How to Evolve Your IP Strategy Over Time

Join Gene Quinn, President and CEO of IPWatchdog, Inc., for a free webinar discuss that will focus on the importance of evolving an IP strategy to stay relevant, and steps that can be taken by those in-house and outside patent practitioners to adjust with changing technology and market realities. Joining Gene will be Carlo Cotrone, Senior Legal Strategist and IP Corporate Counsel at Baker Hughes, a GE Company.

Protection Strategies for Growth-Phase Companies

When it comes to the IP rights of your competitors, what you don’t know can hurt you. As your company brings new products to the marketplace, you should consider taking steps to ensure that doing so does not infringe on the patent rights of your competitors or other companies. Understanding what is in the patent portfolios of your competitors and the IP landscape in general is key to avoiding surprises and reducing risk when commercializing products. Competitor landscape reviews may also provide valuable insight into your own patenting strategy. To this end, many companies perform so-called “freedom to operate” (FTO) studies with the goal of identifying any potential IP barriers to market entry and the associated risks of future litigation.

Canada’s National IP Strategy Stoking Fears About Patent Trolls

The strategy also includes legislative changes to ensure ethical standards among patent and trademark agents and to “remove barriers to innovation, particularly any loopholes that allow those seeking to use IP in bad faith to stall innovation for their own gain.” And just who are these loophole-seeking bad faith actors seeking to bring the innovation economy of Canada to a grinding halt? Well, patent trolls, of course… It’s easy to point to the boogeyman of the patent troll but, in reality, concerns regarding such bad-faith actors tend to be overblown and have had the effect of nearly destroying the U.S. patent system in recent years. That decline has occurred even as the Federal Trade Commission has publicly said that the use of the term “patent troll” is prejudicial.

IP Portfolio Managers need to shift from IP-centric to business-centric strategies

Instead of following the same IP plan year after year, IP managers should focus their strategy on aligning their IP with their business, including developing a more concise IP plan, and switch to using smarter and modern analytics… IP managers must: (1) Start with the end in mind: IP is the business; (2) Build a plan, measure and manage and continuous improvement; and (3) Create an environment where your IP and business execs have access to timely actionable intelligence to support their decisions and strategies.

Building a Portfolio in a Depressed Patent Market

Eventually Congress will recognize that all the changes enacted to address the overblown patent troll issue has resulted in far more damage to U.S. competitiveness. This revelation, unfortunately, will take time as the old patent troll narrative is still being cited on the Hill. In the interim, inventors and U.S. companies need to re-evaluate their IP protection strategy… Too often the reaction to losing portfolio value is to decrease investment in the portfolio. That is the wrong approach. More effort and investment need to be made to identify key assets, perform thorough prior art searches and draft applications/claims that can withstand an IPR petition. Keep a patent application family alive with very diverse claim strategies for these key assets.

Challenges for Trademarks in a Digital World: A Review of INTA 2017

Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have provided the opportunity for brands to interact with mass audiences quickly and effectively, but this interaction is a two-way street. Increasingly the public is looking to social media as a vehicle to interact with brands when something goes wrong. Trademark professionals are having to consider not only which social platforms to deploy for their brands, but also work with marketing, communications and customer service teams to manage their brand’s presence online. Thinking of social media as “free” for those actively managing and promoting brands misses both the importance of the platform and the expectations of consumers in an increasingly connected world.

Seven Hallmarks of a Rational Global Patent Strategy

Faced with ever-shrinking budgets and mounting pressure from the C-suite to demonstrate intellectual property (IP) value, many enterprises have jettisoned a once-prevailing global patent strategy: “File anywhere in the world where we or our competitors manufacture or sell products.” In view of the substantial costs of global patent protection, enterprises should pursue protection only when, and where, a value proposition can be rationally articulated. Thus, seven hallmarks of a rational global patent strategy are as follows…

Innovation is a Terrible Thing To Waste

Given the complexity of many technologies, the rapidly changing nature of global markets, and the legal complexities in establishing worldwide licensing programs, it should come as no surprise that IP licensing offers benefits. When this work succeeds, everyone benefits – from innovators and IP owners to the general population as companies around the world gain greater access to new and improved technologies. To avoid missing out on the tremendous rewards and benefits of innovation, we must take full advantage of R&D’s potential in the complex and fast-paced markets of today that offer up opportunities to aggregate and license technologies in new sectors, geographical areas and markets.

What is the future of IP management for law firms?

The breadth and scale of information now available to IP departments was previously unimaginable and using this information to drive insight remains challenging. The most progressive organizations will use insight from their own IP portfolio and the portfolio of others to drive the entire shape and direction of their business. The role of the future IP professional will be less about reactively protecting the innovation that a company creates, and more about using their unique insight to shape future product and service development, geographical expansion and even the future direction of research and development. In the four key phases of IP management – creation, protection, management and optimization – new technology, automation, data availability and collaboration are combining to shape IP management strategy.

Does Your IP Strategy Need a Tune-Up?

While many, if not most, enterprises have instituted, and are executing, an IP strategy of some sort, an important question should be considered: Is the IP strategy optimal, such that its execution extracts maximum value from company technology? Some corporate IP strategies may seem sound in theory, but in practice they are (a) selectively or inconsistently applied within or across projects, (b) incompatible with how teams actually work, (c) relatively narrow in how they perceive innovation, and (d) distracting to innovators and IP practitioners while consuming enormous resources. Ultimately, the return on IP investment of such strategies may be questionable. However, enterprises that periodically take a step back to reflect on their current IP strategies, and recalibrate them if appropriate, are likely to derive the greatest possible value from IP.

Invention Harvesting: Best Practices for Turning Aspiration into Action

Invention harvesting can be leveraged in the context of active development projects to ensure that valuable project-related intellectual property (IP) is duly protected. Significantly, invention harvesting also can be leveraged outside the project context to encourage innovators to invent disruptive technologies to occupy a future, envisioned landscape, and to protect such technologies through the patenting process before others do so. Many companies are aware of the potential benefits of invention harvesting and aspire to begin or expand its use. However, unless they take concrete steps to support and nurture invention harvesting programs, their aspirations may bear limited fruit.

7 Things C-suite Executives Need to Know About Patents

CEOs, CFOs, CTOs and General Counsel are typically very good at making decisions when they have the relevant information, but how often do they have the relevant information when making decisions regarding patents and innovation? Even worse, when decisions are being made the Chief Patent Counsel is frequently not even in the room.