When faced with large amounts of data in their intellectual property (IP) portfolios, even the most experienced innovation leaders get bogged down figuring out what to do with it.
Before they dig into their library of IP assets, it’s important for every intellectual property manager to know what they’re looking for. For every IP audit and analysis, the information you get should help you answer one question: is this adding value to my business or wasting money?
The answer to that question can be revealed by analyzing a few different metrics.
4 Measures That Are Important to IP Managers
Information on Team Productivity
The more high quality IP assets a company has, the more likely it has a higher value. In addition to a flagship product or product set, having a diversified IP portfolio can further work to a business’s benefit by providing additional revenue opportunities such as licensing. To achieve those outcomes, management of the innovation team’s efficiency, and ability to produce at a higher volume, is going to be vital.
Here are some measures to look at in regards to productivity:
- Changes or modifications per invention disclosure
- Disclosures per operating unit, division or company
- Completed disclosures per team member
- Time spent per disclosure stage
- Number of disclosures per time period
There are other data combinations and measures that can shed light on your innovation team’s productivity, but those are the primary indicators. The key is making sure the most critical data gets captured. Regularly communicate with your team about their projects and keep a close eye on process compliance to keep your data clean.
Records of Billing to Outside Counsel
One of the most expensive, yet necessary, resources you will need to account for when ensuring your IP is properly protected is the expertise of outside counsel (OC). There are a lot of IP lawyers to choose from for any given project. However, keep a close eye on your OC’s rates and productivity; staying aware of that information can tip you off to signs of underperformance and lead you to explore other options for counsel, either internally or externally. Some helpful measures:
- Time spent per case
- Time spent per activity (client correspondence, office actions, etc)
- Partner vs. associate time
- Comparison of outcomes among OC’s from different firms
A large part of what will make your innovation team successful is the planning that happens before heading into a development project. Depending on the asset being developed:
- Set a budget number for obtaining protection
- Forecast the time the asset will spend in the project queue
- Identify the other projects occupying relevant engineers, scientists or other inventors
- Gauge the productivity rate of project participants during ID
Backtracking or trying to examine these elements on the fly could cost you even more time. Taking the initiative and performing regular reviews of team assignments can make you more agile and keep production moving smoothly.
Relationship Mapping Between IP and Product
Regular IP “audits” are critical to maintaining awareness of profit opportunities, asset “wasting,” IP efficiency, and incidents of possible IP infringement. The key to making these analyses, however, is having a clear understanding of how your various IP assets are deployed. In times of significant development, it can be easy to lose track of these connections, thereby hampering your ability to manage IP with maximum effectiveness.
With an IP management tool like Decipher®, intellectual property managers can see these IP and product connections laid out in a web-like pattern. You can see what’s related, which assets may be underperforming, where the profit potential is, and identify potential cost savings.
Even IP Managers Need Help Sometimes
Even the most experienced intellectual property managers need the right tools to track these core pieces of data. Intellectual property management software like Decipher® gives innovation teams and business leadership the insights they need to make the best decisions possible regarding the direction of their IP strategy. Using data visualization, workflow automation, billing tools, and other features will help you do all of it faster than ever before.
Want to learn more about how the right IP management tool can lead to improvements in financial gains at your organization? Download this free ROI whitepaper and see the results yourself.