As financial factors have proven to be increasingly uncertain in recent years, companies have been placing renewed emphasis on the potential of their intellectual assets. But while shifting focus is an important first step, having the right people in the room may be more predictive of long-term success.
According to IP Watchdog, economic downturns typically affect the patent community in two simultaneous but opposing ways. First, there is always a notable uptick in entrepreneurship and invention disclosures as innovators strike out on their own to either reverse their poor fortunes or exploit unique opportunities. But at the same time, many of these same professionals let cost-conscious impulses cloud their thinking. The result is often an influx of low-quality patents filed on the cheap.
As with any business process, successful intellectual property management relies on a keen eye that helps inventors distinguish between an unnecessary expense and what could be a shrewd investment.
In this particular context, the majority of potential costs tend to relate to legal fees. So the spending decisions facing aspiring inventors often deal with the extent to which they would like to include outside counsel.
The good news, according to the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, is that many attorneys have started to offer fixed or alternative fee arrangements in light of the recession to provide clients with more affordable and predictable options.
These collaborations are not all-or-nothing agreements either. As the news source noted, many firms have been able to leverage the strategic insight of attorneys with unique expertise in a particular industry, such as software production, while handling the bulk of lower-level administrative tasks on their own.