Intellectual Property (IP) is essentially the core asset of a modern corporation. While IP is typically associated with the legal rights (such as copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, know-how, and patents) that define the ownership and bounds of intangible assets, in reality IP has a much broader scope. It is the sum product of the collective corporate intellect. It encompasses all technical innovation and other creative expressions of the human mind and is typically represented by the corporate technology and legal rights portfolio. All forms of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are important to technology companies. Products risk being devalued, commoditized, or even directly copied without ongoing technical innovation and the strategic protection of that innovation with IPR. The key to sustainable competitive advantage is through consistent and proactive use of innovation and associated IPR for business advantage over a long period of time.
In technology focused companies, a successful product typically follows a well established lifecycle of: concept, introduction, growth, maturity and finally decline. In lock-step with the product cycle is a related IP lifecycle. This lifecycle provides a way to proactively manage the results of the corporate innovation process for technology-based businesses. The corresponding steps of the intellectual property lifecycle include the phases of: assess/analyze, strategize/innovate, establish IP, leverage IP and monetize IP.
TechInsights has developed the following five-stage IP lifecycle model, delivering high-value solutions and services in the context of those phases:
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