23rd jun, 2009

How to improve your use of IP for free

I just finished reading a fantastic article by Andrew Watson and Jordan S Hatcher from ipVA. It is called “Fix your broken IP structures” and explain how your organizational model is impeding your use of IP assets.
The author argue that since most IP functions are placed under the CFO in the legal department the focus on IP is from a legal perspective rather than a business perspective. This results in lack of  “ board visibility and will struggle in competition with every other business initiative to gain attention.”. Instead the IP area must report to a more strategy focused part of the company (Chief of strategy or sales/marketing). IP must not be placed in R&D because they normally are more scientific oriented and focus on analysis, control and planning.

Ideally the authors see IP placed either under a Chief IP officer, but recognizes that most companies aill not or can’t have such a title, or under the chief strategist or sales VP. This in turn results in closeness to the CEO who can take strategic decisions on IP.

This is really good advice…and its free to implement it. Your IP department does the same as always. It report all the basic stuff to the CFO (costs of ip, prosecution etc.) and all the strategy stuff to either the CIPO or the responsible VP. This ensures that IP matters on a strategic business level gets the required attention of the CEO.

A post on IP-maximizer gives a good example of what the benefit of a CIPO will be

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