How good IP exploitation can increase value and reduce risk?
Managing IP value and risk is important to the exploitation of Intellectual Property. Newly acquired, developed and developing IP is often invisible which creates a challenge for IP management. Generally speaking, operational and conduct risk often points to the lack of an integrated IP enterprise management system. A system that involves all relevant departments who create, improve, use and manage IP.
This often impedes further R&D and the prospects for maximising IP exploitation and driving business growth, i.e there is a direct link to asset value. This at a time when the use and protection of trade secrets is in the headlines. However this management and risk issue effects all types of IP in any business.
For businesses with these challenges in mind we suggest merging best practice IP exploitation practices and Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). Together with our partner ISS, we call this IP Risk Management (IPRM). Once a IPRM exists it can be assessed alongside corporate culture to identify risk and drive improvement.
The IP Exploitation management system
We see best practice as developing a system of cross-departmental business processes designed to maximise IP exploitation. These processes define roles, responsibilities and controls needed to deliver IP objectives. Their purpose is also to drive out risk to exploitation:
- Identify and adjust corporate missions and new product sensitivities based on an understanding of stakeholder and market needs.
- Align departmental goals, objectives / targets and business plans to drive IP exploitation across the organisation. This creates a single organisational wide approach to IP Risk Management.
- Cross matching retained and maintained IP to corporate strategy and advising divestment or abandonment.
- Building advanced Freedom to Operate reporting into IP and exploitation business processes.
IP Development and management approach
- Creating IP Registers used within the IP management system.
- Embedding IP tell tales to capture potential and emerging IP opportunities and risk as the ‘business as normal’ unfolds.
- Identifying latent and undeveloped IP and appropriate protections to prevent misuse inside and outside the organisation.
- Building sub-processes for matching ongoing searches against the existing IP Register informing emerging competition.
Assessing IP management, risk and compliance
In summary, the IP Risk Management system comprises a range of business processes that define roles, responsibilities and controls aimed at maximizing the value of the IP and reduce risk to its exploitation.
These processes are typically documented so they are visible and subsequently can be audited to check compliance with their requirements. Documents are mental constructs or models as they do not define reality or what is really taking place. Consequently, the reality is too difficult to define, model or pre-determine, yet it this corporate culture that delivers results. HPO RS Vista is an assessment technique & platform that digitizes the outcome or impact of people’e behaviour. From this and its consistent analysis risk to the delivery of IP Exploitation objectives is reported. This in effect creates a new type of KPI to manage IP, one that is forward and not backward looking. This allows change and improvement to be made before poor performance becomes a reality.
About the author: Ian Rosam from HPO Risk Solutions is the creator of unique intellectual property to measure risk and business culture to business and compliance management outcomes. A system thinker, author and facilitator supporting the implementation of ERM and Management systems. Ian has worked in many different industry sectors.