For most companies entering the patent system for the first time, the primary motivation is to gain protection for new inventions. After a prolonged application and approval period, some may be content to sit back and relax after accomplishing their initial goal. In reality, intellectual property strategies are only just beginning after patents and trademarks are awarded.
"Know how your business can use a patent as an asset. You can buy it, sell it, enforce it or use it as security for a loan," Toronto-based patent attorney Noel Courage explained in a recent interview with the Globe and Mail. "You can also license it to other companies for royalties."
If the business opportunities are not incentive enough, consider the original and accruing costs. Most patents have annual maintenance fees - not to mention potential defensive litigation expenses - the news source recommended continuous cost-benefit analyses to ensure companies are deriving maximum value from their IP portfolios.
Even for intellectual assets that are relatively low-maintenance, companies must diligently provide internal protections to ensure their acquisitions were not all for nought. According to Fast Company, physical and digital threats posed by everything from careless employees to rogue hackers can trigger the leak of sensitive IP and put companies in compromising positions.