One current corporate practice is to develop a business model (or business unit) around your company’s intellectual property (IP) portfolio. The literature and press over the last decade has posited some divergent views of the strategic, tactical, and operational methodologies required to manage and extract value from IP.
How does a company select an appropriate blue¬print for its’ own unique universe? Why even attempt to manage an IP portfolio as a business? Doesn’t IP come into existence in response to product strate¬gies? Aren’t the inception, timing, and cost of the prosecution of IP fundamentally un-plannable; reactive rather than proactive? Don’t most of the inventors now work elsewhere? And even if you are able to claim some success in the management of the process, isn’t the actual value of the IP both intrinsic and extrinsic? Isn’t the actual value of IP uncertain at best?
IP in single instances or in strategic bundles can provide the seed elements of product development, the glue in development partnerships, and the cata¬lyst required to turn invention, opportunity, capabil¬ity, and knowledge into innovation. Understanding how to manage this asset class as a business, how¬ever, depends on a thorough understanding of the type and mix of IP in the existing portfolio; how it is encumbered, and how new IP is derived, positioned, and protected.