30th mar, 2010

Take IP out of the silo

One of the points that I often make is that when you work with IP as a business tool you need to put your IP team where your business is and vice versa. This means that your company strategy and IP strategy are aligned. This will enable you to make wise IP decisions from a business perspective and stop making business decisions that are not supported by your IP. 


This sounds very easy but it is surprising how few companies actually do this. Most larger companies separate R&D, IP and the strategic layers of the company. An integrated approach to solving business challenges is the right choice, but is quite hard work. Actually smaller companies have an advantage here since they are few people, everybody must corporate. The challenge in this case however is to get all the relevant knowledge into the heads of the people of the company. 


A post on the IP maximize blog got my thoughts rolling on this subject. They describe a situation where the R&D and marketing solved a customer need and developed a market but failed to be involved in the IP development around the new product. This resulted in not only did they fail to protect their new invention properly but also spent a lot of money in market development only to see the competitors roll in effortlessly. All due to silo organisation and lack of a strategic approach to IP. 


The solution to the silo problem is to place IP above the silos and not in them.


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