With the globalisation of economy and the rise of information and communication technologies, intangible assets such as intellectual property have gradually become keys for the long-term financial success and competitiveness of companies. However, in order to extract the full value of intellectual property, it should be maintained, audited, monitored and managed properly. Thus, a carefully developed strategy about the company’s intellectual property becomes a mandatory part of every management process. Such an effective strategy can allow a business to:
- Protect its identity, ideas, inventions and artistic work from imitation by competitors;
- Maintain competitive advantage and secure its long-term market dominance;
- Avoid legal disputes and expensive litigation in terms of infringement of foreign intellectual property rights;
- Gain recognition, build a firm identity and form emotional bonds with customers and business partners through industrial design and trademarks;
- Gain additional revenue from the commercialization of intellectual property rights – licensing, transfers, franchise agreements, etc.;
- Increase its commercial value by adding valuable intellectual property in its portfolio;
- Build more easily beneficial business partnerships in the form of research and development consortia, patent pools, cross-licensing agreements, in and out-licensing, mergers, etc.;
- Spot useful external knowledge and ideas and transfer them into the internal research and development process (in-licensing, know-how, open-source and open-data information, etc.);
- Control geographical markets through intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, etc.);
- Create new markets and control the technological progress in whole industries.
According to the WIPO, the most basic Intellectual Property Strategy would include at least the following four elements:
- Intellectual Property Acquisition Policy,
- Intellectual Property Exploitation Policy,
- Policy on Intellectual Property Monitoring, and
- Policy on Intellectual Property Enforcement.