Statistics over the last decade suggest that a shift is well underway in corporate attitudes toward acquiring, valuing, and leveraging IP rights. Two main concerns that dominate the management of IP are legal and business issues. Ideally, even though a lawyer’s skills are useful in determining which IP rights to obtain, maximizing profits from an IP portfolio are not within the realm of a lawyer’s expertise. Thus, effective IP rights management strategies must accompany adapted effective management structures.
Recent trends show that companies, to best exploit their IP rights, frequently consider restructuring their ownership and management of IP rights, with for example, a portfolio review. However, an effective IP strategy must consider the intended use of the IP right(s) and the key players who will help develop and leverage it, such as legal counsel, inventors, business developers and marketing professionals.
Business strategies for exploiting IP assets must include the consideration of whether owning the IP right is advantageous or even necessary. In some instances, being a licensee is sufficient. In others, companies may develop their portfolio as a strategy to generate income and also to maximize the return for investors in the event of strategic alliance(s). However, to ensure a viable return on investment, the benefits of ownership must be weighed against factors such as associated costs, relevant markets, the strength of the IP rights, competitive advantage and enforcement strategies.
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