27/09/2016

Protect & exploit my intellectual property

If you are on this page you know what IP is and why it is important to your company and it’s future profits.

Type 1 Companies: If you are an early stage company your entire business might be built around one or more core patents that are going through the system on their way to being granted and your company valuation is in no small part tied to the anticipated value of that IP.

Type 2 Companies: If you are a seasoned company whether or not you were originally based around some IP, you have become experts in your field and you and your employees are all potential inventors. Do you nurture this? Do you understand the importance of capturing the ideas, the improvements and the accidental discoveries of the staff?

It is human nature to explore, investigate, to tinker and improve. Your staff do it at home. They do it while finding new routes to work in the morning. They do it in the dance lessons in the evening they have kept secret from their co-workers. If the culture and environment at work is right, they will do it there as well.

However that is where the difficulties arise. The environment that nurtures innovation is not one where efficiency metrics are used to measure employee value, not one where employees are treated like semi-automated-units-of-work (as I did hear one boss describe their reports). A motivated employee that is granted freedom to operate will not only work effectively, but also contribute with ideas.

Next these ideas need to be captured and cultivated rather than lost in a black-hole of a suggestion box. Many will not be good, but constructive feedback will encourage rather than deter a person from having another go. For ideas that do work, rewards are always beneficial to reinforce the system.

Tinnoco has many years expert knowledge in creating this positive environment to allow valuable IP to be generated, evaluated, valued and captured and can deliver this through consulting, coaching or training courses.

Type 3 Companies: A company may discover that they need either an existing piece of IP, or need some new IP to be generated in order to proceed. Typical common options are to license in existing IP or to find or sponsor the creation of IP from and academic institution and access it via technology transfer.

Type 4 Companies: Those companies for who IP has always been a core part of their existence. Companies that have massive portfolios of patents – if it can be protected, do so! With these companies often the problem is that unless they have first class databases and information systems, much of the IP gets forgotten and lost. The finance department paying the bills to maintain the portfolio are unable to monetise it. The heads of the research and development departments are busy and focused on the next product release. What could become a massive profit centre remains a large drain on finances. Here Tinnoco can be brought in to do IP mining, value assessment and a study to maximise portfolio value.

Get in touch to discuss these opportunities.