Technology is what often differentiates companies, and the ability to copy or imitate is faster and less costly than innovation and development. As a result, one must understand the various forms of intellectual property protection to assess the perceived value, longevity, and cost effectiveness of their IP protections. As noted in a previous article, a strategic IP management program can generate competitive benefits, market defenses, and even revenue. Protecting intellectual property is therefore integral to corporate operations, and any IP strategy must be evaluated from an economic perspective.
Before creating and implementing an IP program, there are several key issues to consider. The first action should be to define a specific set of goals and intentions with regard to the purpose of the IP protection program. This is not only critical for operational success, but also in determining the reasonableness of the related expenses. A well-defined IP program can be used to provide better insights into the true cost of IP generation, protection and development.