Intangible Assets: 5 Ways of Aligning Them with Your Core Business

Businesses across the world must strive to make the most out of their IP portfolio. In order to do that, the first order of business should be to align it completely with a company’s core business. To simply keep on filing patents is not enough – the focus must be on value generation. A handful of lucrative patents are regarded to provide more value than a huge patent portfolio which simply do not align with a company’s objective. Since IP is a key business asset, it must be treated as such, and one way to ensure that is by getting your IP strategy and corporate strategy aligned with each other. The following article lists down five ways in which you can achieve this.

Figure: 5 Ways to Align IP to Your Core Business
  1. Conduct Comprehensive IP Landscaping

Technology is an extremely dynamic domain with the markets ever evolving. With that in mind, it is essential to map all relevant and potential market trends and patents. One must also be prescient when it comes to IP that may turn out to be vital for business and that of rivals in the near future. To ensure an all-round strategy, one must not restrict this mapping to patents alone and rather keep track of designs, trademarks, and domain names that may be used by a business or a competitor.

2. Establish a Collaborative Innovation Team

The objective of such a team is to lay down innovation goals that are aligned with the corporate strategy. Such a team can work on filing patents for innovations and manage IP portfolio continuously, while adhering to the business strategy. This sort of team can be cross-functional and include technical personnel such as engineers along with people from finance, marketing, sales, and other departments.

3. Assess Your Patent Portfolio

Corporate strategies change to keep up with the market. So, one must examine their patent portfolio at regular intervals to ensure that it is aligned with the core business. For example, if the cost to maintain a patent is more than its potential, then it makes complete sense to drop it or to at least consider doing so. Your IP must not become your liability!

4. Align Global Business Goals and Foreign Filings

It is important to develop a considerable understanding of significant markets, competitors, possible business partners, potential licensees, manufacturing hubs, etc. All this knowledge is critical to the choice of place for patent filing. Every country has its own set of IP laws hence one must ensure to check if the innovation is eligible for patent protection in the country of choice. Several countries such as India and China do not sanction patent protection for software or business methods. One must carefully study the markets in these countries and assess if IP can yield dividends there.

5. Monetization

IP is an asset that has to be leveraged by making it the means to the commercial objectives of the company. We recommend seeking help of professional IP experts in devising a business-driven IP strategy that will ensure the highest possible return on investment (ROI) into the IP portfolio. IP experts will help you in recognizing the commercial value of your IP that will in turn lead to deductions in funding and tax. It can also throw up licensing revenue options.

Final Thoughts

IP is meant to generate revenue. And that revenue can stem only from the alignment of IP with its core business. Since business and IP strategies are contingent on one another, the successful alignment of the two is key to peak ROI. So, once IP is procured, conduct a thorough IP landscape study, keep stringent tabs on it and exploit it to the best of your ability.

In case you are looking to conduct a landscape analysis, Sagacious IPs Patent Landscape Analysis service enables customers to understand how an industry or technology is evolving by providing an overview and analysis of patent information. Customers use our patent landscape analysis to identify the patents that their competitors are filing, new opportunities or threats in the domain, technology white spaces, and modify their R&D and business investments accordingly.

– Vaibhav Henry (ICT) and the Editorial Team

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