Four techniques from one company regarding management of intellectual property

A company I consulted to is steeped in intellectual property (IP) and four of its practices regarding those assets struck me as worthy of note.

  1. The company runs three “IP Review Boards” – one for each business line, because they each have completely different technologies. On each board are representatives from the business, marketing, technical and legal staffs. With the business focused IP boards, instead of one large one, the members are more familiar with their business needs and technologies and meetings can be more flexibly scheduled.

  2. The boards hold meetings infrequently, not on a fixed schedule, so the company conducts them virtually and with irregular calls across four continents. Much of the business of the IP meetings is transacted by email.

  3. The board meetings are not focused solely on patents. Instead, the boards cover trademarks, know-how, and trade secrets. Each of these forms of protection are vital.

  4. Patents are not the only rewarded activity. If someone innovates a great process, the company might choose not to publicize it but there is a reward or recognition for the inventor (See my post of Feb. 19, 2009: invention review committees with 7 references.).

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