About Intellectual Property: The Role of IP
- The role of IP
- Who owns my ideas or intangible creations?
- Managing knowledge and innovation
- IP Facts
The premise underlying intellectual property (IP) throughout its history has been that the recognition and rewards associated with ownership of inventions and creative works stimulate further inventive and creative activity.
Intellectual property establishes a right and identifies ownership of intellectual creativity.
The role IP plays
The role of IP is manyfold.
- First, IP establishes a right and identifies ownership of the intellectual creativity which enables its owner to profit from the creative endeavour and to exclude others from making, selling or using the same without the necessary authorization.
- Second, IP enhances the value and profitability of a business. It signifies a certain standard, method or competitive edge and lays the groundwork for maximizing on the commercial results of its ownership.
- Third, IP assets accrue to their owners through its business development and strategies: from product development to design, from service delivery to marketing, and from raising financial resources to exporting or expanding its business through licensing or franchising.
- Fourth, IP instills trust, confidence and loyalty to the consumers it markets. Further, IP provides a distinct identity, image and reputation. Finally, it has been said that IP is the hidden value of a company that is tied up in the intangible assets, and these assets have not been traditionally shown on the balance sheet.
There are many ways to increase competitiveness
SMEs that dedicate time and resources to establishing their IP goals and protecting their IP assets can increase their competitiveness in a variety of ways.
- First, SMEs may prevent competitors from copying or closely imitating a company's products or services.
- Second, they also may avoid wasteful investment in research and development (R&D) and marketing.
- Third, they enhance their corporate identity through a trade-mark and a branding strategy.
- Fourth, they may negotiate licensing, franchising or other IP-based contractual agreements. Then, they may further increase the market value of their company. Further, they may acquire venture capital and enhance their access to finance.
- Finally, they may access new markets or develop untapped niche markets.
In addition, companies which search systematically for conflicting IP rights of others prior to seeking IP protection are able to avoid unnecessary litigation, thereby saving time and resources.
Businesses should take advantage of the wealth of technological and commercial information available in patent, trade-mark and copyright databases to learn about recent or past advances, identify future partners and discover the innovative activities of competitors.
Managing IP effectively and incorporating its role into their business strategies is an increasingly critical task for entrepreneurs worldwide.
Corporate Business Management
The role of IP is becoming a major element in corporate business management. IP managers are helping to accumulate hefty corporate IP asset portfolios for the use in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, cooperative R&D agreements, and licensing agreements in much the same way as product managers help to build up product portfolios. These IP asset portfolios are developed strategically, targeting cluster areas based on product and technology markets and cross-licensing opportunities. Companies are forging alliances with each other to heighten the value of their IP assets and to obtain mutually beneficial competitive advantages.
Often such alliances will give the companies involved substantially increased weight in their area of technology, or enable them to support technological standards in their particular fields.
In many situations, IP assets are the very foundation of, and the most valuable assets of an enterprise!