Intellectual asset management is a structured and disciplined approach for turning ideas and knowledge into intellectual property and revenues.
Implementing an intellectual asset management program requires a process driven approach. A process is “a sequence of activities that take an input and produce an output. In business, a process is supposed to add value to the input before producing the output.” Each step of an intellectual asset management process informs and directs the other, leading to greater efficiency with existing efforts.
Intellectual asset management program provides productive synchronicity between innovation management, patent management, intellectual property licensing and IP enforcement, thereby attaining efficiencies in many inter-connected business processes.
Leading companies in almost every industry have acknowledged the need for an effective intellectual asset management program. Companies such as IBM, Texas Instruments, Du Pont, Dow Chemical, Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, Eastman Chemical, Rockwell, Mark and Cadbury Schwepps, among others, have achieved significant profit increases from their intellectual asset management program. Billions of dollars in revenues have been generated from intellectual assets that are identified, managed and licensed through corporate IAM programs. In this paper, we briefly analyze how your organization can gain the same benefits than several leading companies have achieved.
Implementing successful intellectual asset management (IAM) processes requires five fundamental pieces within an organization: an intellectual asset management strategy, a dedicated team, well defined processes, infrastructure and systems, and metrics for continuous improvement.
Intellectual Asset Management Strategy
Developing an intellectual asset management strategy starts with alignment with corporate strategy. It includes evaluating R&D and engineering practices to accelerate time to market and enhance the effectiveness of intellectual asset investment decisions. You should consider assessing and implementing organization structures and work processes that support intellectual asset management strategy. Successful intellectual asset management strategy is much more than a process for patenting and licensing inventions. It takes into account all types of intellectual assets.
These assets include valuable information and trade secrets as well as patentable inventions. For most companies, patents are just the tip of the iceberg. The bulk of intellectual assets are proprietary information, ideas and trade secrets. Your strategy should also include developing and implementing intellectual asset portfolio monitoring and enforcement programs to better protect current products and future development efforts.
A Dedicated Team
To successfully implement the intellectual asset management strategy, you need the support of a dedicated team. With the role of IP legal changing from support to strategic, the team should be comprised of members with complementary skill sets, including engineering, R&D, IP legal and outside law firms. Acceptance from inventor community is critical for the program to work. Clear communication, simplicity and adaptability to their culture goes a long way into setting the right course for long term success.
Well Defined Processes
Effective intellectual asset management is a process and not an event. Process optimization has the biggest short and long term impact on your business. Both you and your extended team achieve significant efficiency improvements. You should work towards mapping each step in your process and automate each administrative task. This approach will reduce cost and significantly decrease the time dedicated to patent management. You should start with setting structure to the innovation management process. By streamlining invention disclosure submission, review and approval process, you can maximize the use of technology skills available throughout the organization and hence improve the
effectiveness of your team in processing new ideas faster. Next, If patents are significant part of your IP portfolio, you should focus on automating patent management process. Whether you use law firms to do most of your patent prosecution or you use a hybrid model, you should map out each task in the process and analyze how it can be delivered with least resources and maximum impact. Similar to patents, you can structure processes for managing trademarks, assertions and enforcement programs, budget and invoicing management.
Infrastructure and Systems
Historically not the first corporate function to receive limited and expensive IT resources, corporate legal departments have operated with a hodge-podge of limited IT automation, piecemeal point solution applications to address a limited set of legal department functions. Such applications were typically created for external law firms, expert at optimizing for billable hours, rather than enabling the corporate legal, and geographically distributed service providers, employee contributors and stakeholders to operate as one for competitive advantage. More recently, while corporations intranet and document management systems have improved the legal departments’ document access, no where – until
Lecorpio – has there been a completely automated, modern and integrated suite of applications designed to optimize not only each legal function’s processes but also enable an extended enterprise, end-to-end collaboration and visibility of intellectual assets and legal processes.
Unlike all current legal application “point solutions” that limit their clients’ operations to how the vendor defines how to run their business with rigidly defined business application logic programmed directly into the product, Lecorpio uniquely provides both the benefits of standalone, turnkey applications for each corporate legal function, but also empowers corporate legal departments to select and choose how they choose to do business and also easily extend their application logic and workflows and do so without expensive, rare and labor intensive traditional computer programming skills. It is designed to work the way you do, work the way your business does, and work the way technology should.
Metrics for continuous improvement
A picture is worth a thousand words. You should make use of an advanced set of visualization tools that provides an easily understood visual essence of every import metric for your legal department. Spot trends, find anomalies, identify strengths and weaknesses by leveraging your legal assets data. The metrics should be designed to help your team understand what’s happening from both 50,000 feet and 5 feet level. By conducting historical and comparative trend analyses to gain insight into emerging opportunities and critical issues, you gain a competitive advantage over your competition.
Budget Software – Transform Operations and Maximize effectiveness with Lecorpio
Lecorpio, the leading provider of Legal Resource Management (LRM) solutions, empowers the world’s leading corporate legal departments, internal corporate constituents and law firms to do more with less with an integrated and collaborative suite of budget software solutions to automate, manage and optimize all legal functions and processes, individually or “end to end” across the extended enterprise.
Lecorpio Legal Resource Management includes applications for innovation management, patent management, trademark management, IP assertions and enforcement management, licensing compliance management, spend management, contract management, open source management and entity management.
* Lecorpio innovation management provides form, discipline and structure to the invention disclosure process. Innovation Management enables inventors to be actively involved in a dialogue with the legal department and gain insight into how their submissions are moving through the process. This provides organizations gain broader access to ideas and process them for better results. Innovation management provides right information in the right people’s hands at the right time. Each participant in the process is notified when they are needed to perform a task, and alarms are triggered if delays occur. The “top-down” view of the entire process improves strategic planning of solicitations and development of new technology and intellectual property.
* Lecorpio patent management provides for the implementation of measures to ensure that a patent department identifies the right law firm/resources, adequately protects, and controls intellectual property portfolio and budgets. Patent case information is organized into electronic tri-folders analogous to the current paper file folders. All participants in the process, including inventors, in-house counsels, law firm attorneys, administrators, docketing clerks, annuity payment service providers and others, are linked to this database and given
selective access to information relevant to their role in the process. Access privileges are controlled so that each participant sees only what is necessary to carry out their responsibilities. Docketing management is fully integrated with case files, docketing is automatically associated with cases, and the user can instantly link from docket to the case file, or from case file to docket.
* Lecorpio trademark management helps your team collaborate with corporate marketing, product development team members and others throughout the company regarding trademark issues and respond promptly to new trademark search requests. You can manage outside counsels more
efficiently and keep track of budgets, estimates and invoices for each search, filing and registration activity performed by outside counsels.
With Lecorpio trademark management, you can create, manage and analyze your portfolios and cluster them by technology areas, product groups and other business factors. Also, using trademark enforcement management, you can track disputes.
* Lecorpio IP assertion and enforcement management is a robust monitoring system for implementing an effective enforcement program. You can track disputes; create third party profiles, manage incoming/outgoing engagements, manage budget, assess risks and keep track of critical tasks and activities.
* Lecorpio licensing management streamlines the process of creating, managing, implementing, and tracking licensing agreements to optimize revenue, mitigate risk, and improve compliance. With Lecorpio licensing management, you can systematically track and manage your licensing and business agreements, diligently fulfill your contractual responsibilities and track the obligations of your business partners. You can manage various types of agreements such as patent, other IP or Budget software license agreements (both inbound and outbound) and graphically analyze on terms, commitments, and obligations articulated in various agreements.
For more information about Lecorpio and the Lecorpio Legal Resource Management suite of applications, please visit http://www.lecorpio.com or call at 1-408-850-7260