A balanced intellectual property (IP) portfolio helps your organization to leverage its IP assets most effectively, ensures flexibility to adjust for strategic or unexpected changes, and optimizes use of IP management resources. Maintaining a balanced IP portfolio requires diligent monitoring of assets and their uses, but how can your organization tell when the portfolio has become imbalanced? Here are 4 signs to watch out for:
A core benefit of protecting ideas with intellectual property is to remain flexible to market changes or to quickly move against infringement. Your IP portfolio may be imbalanced if your organization is able to quickly take action in some strategic focus areas, but can’t in other areas. For example, imagine your organization has two product families which operate in different markets and each is experiencing IP infringement. If one infringement case is being resolved more quickly than the other, it could indicate that you are patented appropriately in one group, but over- or under-patented in the other.
Regularly reviewing the valuation and return of intellectual property assets can help your organization determine if its investment is being distributed most strategically. Without regular review, organizations risk over-investing in IP assets which are no longer strategic or do not provide return. Similarly, organizations risk under-investing in assets which require more protection due to high returns or potential to become core offerings, now or in the future.
Organizational strategy should always influence intellectual property strategy. If you notice your organization’s IP portfolio is heavily invested in assets which no longer align with, or even hinder, organizational goals, it can be improperly balanced. Intellectual property assets which no longer perpetuate organizational goals may still be able to be used in pursuit of other opportunities, like licensing.
Lastly, a dynamic intellectual property portfolio should be optimized with a mix of different IP assets, like trademarks, patents, or licenses. If your IP portfolio invariably consists of only one type of asset, the organization may be missing out on valuable opportunities. Additionally, balanced IP portfolios take into consideration the balance of quantity and quality. While many organizations equate number of patents to strategic advantage, spending resources on IP assets which don’t strategically fit can waste capital, time, and human effort and be detrimental to IP management in the long-term.
An intellectual property management solution can help your organization to efficiently gather and synthesize the data needed to explore whether or not your IP portfolio is imbalanced. For example, IP management software can easily display what markets IP assets are focused in and the return on investment of each asset. This can help you systematically make decisions on which IP assets are strategic fits and where there may be gaps.
To learn more about how an intellectual property management solution can help your organization evaluate its IP, read this quick case study and see how a major company optimized their IP management with Decipher.