Intellectual property: cambridge intellectual property ltd
Putting IP at the Centre
of Business Strategy:
Core Uses of Actionable
IP-based Business Intelligence
by Ilian Iliev (CEO, CambridgeIP Ltd)
Previous contributors to the IP section of Innovation UK?s publication have focused on what IP rights are and how companies should go about securing these rights. For technologybased companies, the IP strategy is particularly focused on establishing a strong and defensible patent portfolio which can serve to both defend the company?s technology from unlicensed use, as well as to gain additional revenues through licensing revenues. Getting to such a point is the result of a significant financial and organisational investment by innovative companies: resulting in a tremendous body of explicit and implicit business intelligence that goes to the core of corporate strategy. Exploiting this knowledge can result in higher returns on your IP portfolio. It can also help you extract sophisticated business intelligence insights that can feed into your business development, marketing and even HR functions.
To better understand the increasing strategic uses of IP-based intelligence, CambridgeIP commissioned researchers from Cambridge University to conduct a survey of Corporate R&D and IP managers. We found that evolving uses of IP-based business intelligence go to the heart of a company?s growth strategy. In addition to traditional uses of IP data, our respondents also cited competitor identification and monitoring, pro-active identification of outlicensing and in-licensing opportunities, new markets research, acquisition target filtering, and the building of an investment case to internal and external investors. This is how your competitors, major clients and potential acquirers are using IP data. How do your IP practices match up?
In all likelihood your company does not have the financial resources of a Microsoft or a Boeing. How can you match the major global corporations in the sophistication of your use of IP business intelligence in a cost-effective manner? A key step in that direction is to integrate the latest approaches to cost-effective and on-demand ?actionable IP-based intelligence? in your corporate management?s strategic tool-kit. Advanced analytical techniques such as ?Inventor Network Analysis?, or highly precise and rapid IP Landscapes can reveal a wealth of strategically important information that is of interest to IP managers and other stakeholders in the organisation. Consider the patent-based inventor network map below. The map represents key inventor relationships in a specific industry: the ?reds? are organisations, ?blues? are individual inventors, and size of bubbles represents the number of patents. Past users have found that such maps can help many stakeholders within the organisation. IP managers can identify potential licensing opportunities and who to talk to first. CEOs have used this to identify senior hiring opportunities and potential advisors. CTOs and product managers have used inventor network analyses to identify potential collaboration opportunities, as well as key influencers in a specific technology community.
Your corporate managers can also monitor the development of multiple technology spaces within your industry for new competitors, non-competitive licensing opportunities, as well as emerging trends. This is doable even in a complex field such as the Biosensors industry, which consists of 12 separate technologies.
What about IP valuation? Most companies that have engaged in licensing or investment round negotiations have had to face the treacherous waters of IP valuation. Adopting the broader IP intelligence approach advocated here can help you get the right facts before you decide what valuation technique to use. Within each technology field you can identify the most influential patents and companies: that then provides you with a set of benchmarks for which you can look for market comparables to get a financial value. There are other approaches that may be appropriate, depending on your industry space.
For some of the readers, the prospect of developing the various levels of business intelligence outlined here may seem daunting. For others, it may seem no substitute for in-house deep expertise. In a way both are right. The approach we advocate is a way of capturing and exploiting the in-house expertise, by developing a set of communicable findings that can be disseminated throughout the firm. It can also be a very valuable first step in identifying the most important trends and risks toward which in-house resources should be allocated. It is also a way of allowing your IP counsel to engage systematically with the strategy-formation process of your organisation.
For more information, contact Ilian Iliev on
01223 370 098 or e-mail him via the company?s