IP MANAGEMENT

 

Many companies know what their short and long term business strategy is, however many fail to consider the ways in which IP can help to achieve these aims. IP management is multi-faceted and incorporates the gamut of intellectual property assets which a company may have, including both registrable and unregistered IP assets.

Metis Partners can help you get the most out of your IP assets by helping you to create, implement and maintain a robust IP management strategy which links directly with your business strategy and focuses on the appropriate short and/or long-term actions your company should take in order to strengthen its competitive advantage and create barriers to entry. Focused and consistent IP management should in turn filter through to both top-line turnover growth and an improvement in bottom-line profits by increasing margins on the back of a well-defined and implemented IP strategy.

Short Term Management Strategy

Short term management assignments focus on high risk, high impact results and can vary according to company size and situation, consequently taking the form of a bespoke, tailored service particular to each client’s needs. In brief, however, short-term strategies can be broken down as follows:

  • Larger Corporates – assignments frequently relate to improvement of trade secret protection and ongoing protection in JVs and partnerships, as well as IP asset valuation and due diligence assignments in advance of investment.
  • SMEs – assignments often focus on identifying undervalued or overlooked IP assets in order to identify how these critical IP assets can be leveraged or how they might form the basis of dynamic strategies focused on creating competitive barriers to entry. This ultimately may allow a company to differentiate itself from competitors, generate new revenue streams and/or maximise the valuation of the business prior to exit/fundraising.

Metis Partners can also provide advice on setting up an IP Committee within your company, and we can even chair the first few meetings to ensure that the IP Committee understands both its remit and the importance of embedding the IP strategy within the organisation. Creating an IP culture within your business helps employees recognise the importance of creating and utilising IP to better address business objectives.

Long Term Management Strategy

A long term management strategy focuses on creating an active IP management programme for sustainable value generation. An effective long-term IP management strategy should both implement and enhance the business strategy by creating and enforcing real barriers to entry for the business. A robust IP management strategy will often include:

  • The identification of critical IP assets and activities to ensure they are well-protected
  • An objective rating of the strength of the IP assets and their ability to enhance business goals such as new product development, entry into new markets, moving from a technology development to a service delivery focus and achieving other business objectives
  • An action plan of IP creation and enhancement activities to coincide with the timing and achievement of stated strategic goals
  • A review of IP assets and innovations in order to determine whether they are patentable, or whether they should be protected via other methods such as a trade secrets policy

vCIPO

For companies with limited funding and/or internal resources looking to implement a long term IP management strategy, the virtual Chief Intellectual Property Officer (“vCIPO”) service is a perfect way to obtain ongoing and on-demand support focused on specialised IP value-add activities. vCIPO is the outsourcing of the role of Chief Intellectual Property Officer, who is responsible for a wide range of activities and decisions focused on the management of a company’s IP assets.

Investing in a dedicated resource to provide a strategic and comprehensive approach to managing IP assets allows a company to maintain awareness of any internal and external issues which may affect its IP and, consequently, its competitiveness. Failure to put IP management at the forefront of your strategy can put your company at a serious disadvantage, particularly as it can be difficult to make up lost ground retroactively; conversely, companies which effectively manage their IP assets are capable of maintaining a due diligence-level approach to this essential asset class. Our vCIPO service can cover:

IP Asset Landscape

In any modern technology space, there may exist a significant number of patents that may prevent companies (who lack relevant patents or patent licences) from competing in that space. Further complicating matters, IP landscapes can change through a variety of factors: patent issuance and expiration, M&A activity, bankruptcy proceedings, and other activities that can affect competitive product and service spaces. Carrying out a landscape can address these issues as well as potential business risks and opportunities.

IP Asset Deployment

Some forms of IP can be expensive to create and maintain – in particular, patents – and if a company expends significant resources creating these assets, then it needs a plan to earn a return on them. There are numerous ways in which patents can generate a return, including using them for assertion and defensive actions, in- and out-licensing, cross-licences, joint ventures and via liquidation and asset recovery, amongst others.

Value Creation

In general, intangible assets remain one of the least understood asset classes. Each company’s IP asset base and surrounding competitive landscape will be different, and therefore it will require unique and specific efforts to create and maintain strategies for building IP asset value within each particular company. Some of these values are quantifiable, others less so, but in the aggregate they can form a significant proportion of a company’s true valuation.

The vCIPO service can deliver to your company a significant increase in the ROI on IP assets, a more secure market position, high-margin royalty revenue and higher enterprise value via a well-planned and properly managed IP asset programme.

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