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IP Asset Management - How to Build an IP Lifecycle Strategy

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The topics of Intellectual Property (IP) and Intellectual Property Asset Management have become increasingly popular within both the legal services industry and the digital technology sector.

The growth of IP case filings, combined with a steady increase in IP business transactions over the last few years, demonstrates that Intellectual Property as a whole is an important part of business.

That being said, many companies still do not have their IP assets documented or a specific strategy to support their overall corporate research and development, and investments and marketing. The necessity of having a strong Intellectual Property strategy has come to the forefront as companies embrace new technologies and continue to look at the positions of their competitors. 

IP Asset Management and a Lifecycle Strategy

IP Lifecycle Management brings a lot of commercial value to companies when done correctly. 

In this article, we will address the purpose of an IP Asset Management strategy, what it comprises of, and the advantages it brings. 

What is Intellectual Property?

For many businesses, intellectual property protects more than just an idea or a concept.

Intellectual Property protects both the assets of the company, which are an integral part of the business's core services, as well as the long-term revenue streams.

Having a solid IP strategy in place also sets your company apart from its competitors, protecting the branding as well as all of the strategy, concepts, ideas, systems, and business contacts. However, for many small to medium-sized companies, intellectual property is usually not well protected, and both entrepreneurs and companies often leave this critical issue out or only have basic protection measures in place.

Having a water-tight Intellectual Property Asset Management strategy supports your overall corporate research and development investments and marketing.

It acts as a foundation for being forward-thinking in terms of technology and means that leaders within the company can look at the positions of their competitors and work out long-range product and market areas. It can also create additional streams of revenue for a company.

Managing Intellectual Property

In an effort to manage Intellectual Property and the IP Lifecycle, it is vital to document all of the ideas, concepts, and processes in the company in detail. This includes any descriptions of products, systems, as well as detailed drawings. 

This documentation acts as a record that the Intellectual Property has been recognized and valued by the business. It shows that the Company is also able to defend their intellectual property should there be any conflict or challenges to ideas, trademarks, or copyrights. 

Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the company to register all of its IP assets. This includes things like trademarks and patents. Documenting your IP assets creates a lifecycle strategy so that companies can easily protect their works as well as be able to act quickly should any conflict arise. It is also important to add relevant dates to all documentation in order to record everything in case of a breach. 

Such good practices help to build a robust IP asset management strategy so that companies can further establish their IP lifecycle practices. 

IP Assets

IP assets are effectively the intangible assets, or nonphysical assets, of a business. 

They can include: 

  • Patents

  • Domain Names

  • Inventions

  • Confidential Information 

  • Industrial Designs 

  • Trademarks 

  • Database rights 

  • Contact Lists 

Companies need IP assets in order to grow and scale their business. In fact, having IP assets is crucial in innovation and also creating value in a company. 

The Intellectual Property Lifecycle

From the beginning through to expiration, an Intellectual Property asset will go through different legal and market changes which will have an impact on the business and its ultimate value. In order to remain competitive, it is crucial to document IP files and maintain a record of them. This can be time-consuming, labor intensive and, sometimes, cost the company a lot of money to manage and maintain. 

Creating a central point of documentation to maintain the IP assets is therefore very valuable, as it not only saves the company a lot of time but also saves a lot of money in terms of employee cost, and time management. 

Having an IP portfolio management strategy will organize and structure all of the IP assets so as to correctly align the company with its values, protect the IP and save the company time and money in the long run.

Why is Outsourcing IP Lifecycle Strategy and Management Beneficial?

In today´s fast-paced world of investments, mergers and acquisitions, as well as rapidly changing technologies, outsourcing IP Lifecycle Management has the following competitive advantages and benefits: 

  • Strengthens the decision-making capacity of a Company

  • Saves time and increases productivity with automation processes and systems 

  • Improves the Accuracy of Data in the IP Lifecycle 

  • Protects all of the Intellectual Property in making sure payments are made on time 

  • Helps with budget forecasting in relation to IP 

Having an IP Lifecycle Strategy is therefore critical to the overall vision of the company as well as how it invests its time and resources.

In conclusion, there are many advantages to developing an IP Lifecycle Strategy for your business.

Companies will want to secure their Intellectual Property rights as more and more activities are done online and remotely. It also ensures any issues that come up can be challenged correctly with the correct evidence to support their IP.

Learn about how UnitedLex creates an efficient and effective IP Lifecycle with  Intellectual Property Management Solutions. By analyzing portfolios, utilizing AI, and discovering monetization opportunities, UnitedLex helps forward-thinking companies maximize their IP asset management.

Download the whitepaper Intellectual Property Monetization in the Digital Age.

UnitedLex is a technology and legal services company committed to delivering full-scale Digital Legal Transformation. The world’s most forward-thinking law departments rely on the company’s expertise in over 25 global jurisdictions. Founded in 2006, the team includes 3,000 legal, engineering, and technology professionals with major operations in 18 countries. For more information, contact us.

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