IP Strategies: An Offensive and Defensive Approach


Companies, both big and small, take a variety of approaches when it comes to protecting intellectual property.  Some companies focus on product development and marketing with little focus on protecting intellectual assets, while others narrowly protect their own products or planned products.  

The most successful companies, however, develop a thought-out intellectual property strategy that supports the company's overall business plan while applying a realistic budget.   

When developing a comprehensive intellectual property strategy, a company should consider the reasons for protecting intellectual property in the first place, including the need to protect income streams and recover investment in product development, the desire to obtain a competitive advantage, the benefits of fencing in competitors' positions, and the need to enhance equity value and impress or attract investors.

There isn't a one-size fits all approach to intellectual property portfolio management.  Software companies are going to have different considerations than companies with retail consumer products and those will be different than the strategies for service providers.  Leading companies will leverage their intellectual property assets to achieve their strategic goals and maximize value.

Sometimes, upon careful examination, a company may decide that its products are not protectable through patents or that there is no advantage to patenting.  In other cases, using trade secret law to protect innovation is a better approach than filing patents. 

In other instances, developing a robust patent portfolio that includes both defensive patents that cover the company's products and offensive patents that protect what competitors might do to circumvent the company's defensive patents is the key to success.  Smart companies simultaneously use this combination of offense and defense-swords and shields-to develop a robust intellectual property portfolio and to establish and protect their market positions.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Davis Brown Law Firm | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.