One of the biggest ways that emerging engineering companies build value is through the development of their intellectual property (IP) portfolios. Building a foundation of inventions can have enormous implications for long term company value, and there is no shortage of examples.
In the wireless telecom field, recall the meteoric rise of CDMA inventor/developers Qualcomm, Broadcomm, and a small company called Dot Wireless which was purchased by Texas Instruments for just short of half a billion dollars. All of these companies had one thing in common: Portfolios of intellectual property.
Engineers in each of these companies were constantly encouraged, and even pushed, to write down whatever ideas they had as soon as the light bulb went on. Unfortunately, many of those ideas ended right there, deep in a notebook somewhere as dozens of other demands crowded the engineer's mind.
Startups almost always operate on shoestring budgets and rely heavily on their staff to over-produce. Stock options help bridge the gap between the quantity of work and compensation actually paid, but what really makes life easier on the ground, day after day, are streamlined systems and tools to keep people motoring and prevent them from burning out. This is where IP management software comes in.
Following are the top 5 reasons to employ IP management software:
- Cost Cutting - Streamlined review of patents and renewals as well as efficiency gains in the overall management of patent portfolios can reduce external legal costs substantially. IP management software should get your IP assets better organized, cataloged, searchable and actionable than ever before.
- Better Collaboration: Innovation and IP creation have become increasingly collaborative; many people are involved in the process at some point. The longer they remain disconnected from one another, the duller the competitive edge becomes. Good IP software connects all relevant players, enabling rapid iterations on ideas, fast invention disclosures, streamlined review and faster and better decisions. Can you see your idea pipeline in a mouse click? If not, value is likely slipping through the cracks.
- Increased productivity. Streamlining the IP management process and making it easy for each of the players involved enables them to do business at the speed of business: Engineers and scientists are motivated to take the time to disclose more and more ideas when the tools they’re given are simple to use; Managers are motivated to act fast when they are automatically notified of new idea submissions and receive reminders; Leaders make better strategic decisions when they have clear visibility of key activities. This is what IP management software can do for you.
- The power of knowledge. As the portfolio grows, the importance of keeping it in a centralized, organized and easily searchable database grows too. Previously patented or pending work should be easily accessible in the development of new work that is similar. The ability to efficiently scour through an internal company database can help avoid reinventing the wheel and enables prized design re-use.
- Security– You already know this truth: The world is interconnected and trade secrets (of which invention disclosures and unpublished patent applications are a species) are tempting targets. Good IP management software should include a robust permissions structure to make sure that only the people who should have access actually get access, and leave an audit trail. Levels of control should include individuals, groups, business areas, or even specific fields within a disclosure form.
To learn more about IP Management software and how it can help you, we invite you to review the following whitepaper.