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From idea to business: use IP to be unique

  • 16 February 2022
  • Articles

I have an idea! How can I materialize it? How can I protect it? Can I commercialize it? What is the value proposition?

The question that could be worth a Million Dollars” is: will it be profitable?

Creating profitable products and/or services is one of the greatest challenges companies face in the current fast-paced, competitive environment. Protecting the results of innovation and knowledge, through intellectual property (IP) rights, can provide highly valuable assets.

The creation of innovative business models, resulting in differentiated processes and products, when properly protected, gives companies a stronger differentiation advantage, especially concerning their direct and potential competitors.

For many companies, the conventional wisdom is that IP is important yet in many cases distant and unobtainable. On the other hand, companies that have IP Assets or are looking to obtain them could benefit from aligning their Business Strategy and their IP Strategy as in most cases they are siloed.

Strategic use of IP can substantially raise the competitiveness of an SME because it:

  • Enables and enhances investment efforts, investors want to see that a company has secured IP rights for all relevant assets and that management of its IP portfolio is fully aligned with its objectives and processes
  • Supports monetization (directly through competitive advantage and potentially through technology transfer)
  • Allows protection of fast-paced innovations. Not every process or product must have a patent, trade secrets could be an alternative, anytime we can identify its commercial value and we can demonstrate the existence of the secrets (using blockchain for supporting the proof of existence could be an option)
  • Gives appropriate value to the company’s assets and future projections and demonstrates security for investors

A relevant factor to consider when aligning strategies (IP, Innovation, and Business), is to select the most beneficial protection mechanism to enable and enhance its economic exploitation.

There are different ways to transfer your technology/knowledge and obtain your Return on Investment, such as licensing, assignment, or creating a spin-off.

The licensing agreement depends on the assessment of the commercial value of the intangible assets, which is usually characterized by a high degree of uncertainty.

Licenses bring benefits to both parties, enabling rapid expansion of the developed technology and a greater possibility of generating results in shorter periods, getting access to new markets that are otherwise unreachable.

On the other hand, a sale implies that the entity that owns the technology cedes all rights of ownership and exploitation through the payment of a fixed amount. All risks, particularly market conditions, regulatory challenges, or even competition-related consequences, are transferred to the buyer.

IP rights are key economic assets in today’s knowledge economy, they empower companies to sustainably realize higher prices, increase market share, and/or maintain lower costs than the competition, so use IP to be unique!

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From idea to business: use IP to be uniqueFrom idea to business: use IP to be unique