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3 Steps for Creating an Effective Intellectual Property Strategy
Every business has the power to create an effective intellectual property (IP) strategy that will not only minimize risk but increase your likelihood of achieving your business goals.
Many businesses procrastinate on forming their IP strategy because the task seems too expensive and requires long-term thinking about complex, unknown issues.
Those who begin the process tend to believe their IP can just be outsourced to an expert. However, IP strategy is not a project that exists—or succeeds—in a vacuum. This means that business leaders like you must be involved in the process.
The most successful companies work closely with their legal team to link IP strategy goals to core business strategy goals as early as possible.
Don’t make the mistake of believing that the most important part of your work is having an original idea. Companies that successfully manage IP know that the main purpose of having an IP attorney is to gain a trusted partner who can propel the success of their business, as a whole, not just file the IP paperwork on time.
These 3 steps will ensure that forming an IP strategy will be an effective addition to your overall business plan:
1. Participate Actively
If your IP strategy is a component of your larger business plan, you must be involved in its formation and direction. Allow your attorney to explain:
- What IP you currently have,
- Where your IP can reduce risks, and
- How your IP can generate value for the company.
Once you understand how it can be used both offensively and defensively according to your unique situation, you can use it to shape your goals.
2. Share Knowledge
Sharing comprehensive knowledge of your business goals with your IP attorneys on a regular basis helps them to leverage their legal expertise to maximize your success.
Whether you’re working with inside and/or outside counsel, everyone involved needs to understand the business cycle as well as you do. Provide your knowledge of the company, including representations that the Board of Directors have made to shareholders. These insights will allow you to receive the best possible counsel from your legal team.
3. Strengthen Partnerships
IP attorneys are experts at developing strategies using all relevant law, not just IP law. They will minimize your risk and increase the likelihood of your business achieving your goals - as long as they know what those goals are and how you are working towards them. Inform them when new ideas emerge and as plans evolve. Their legal insight enriches the field of vision of your business plan, ensuring that your attorneys are positive contributors towards your success.
Getting IP protection should not be your end goal, but the first step of a strategic process that impacts your entire business.
If you treat your legal team as a business partnership instead of a manager of a lengthy paperwork process, you will receive the benefits of having an insider on your side who knows how to make the law work in your favor.
Together you can shape the future of your business.
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