Intellectual Property (IP) is like any other business tool, and a company must know how to use it to gain business and financial value. Simply put, Intellectual Property can add value to a company, provided the company wants it to add value, invests in IP appropriately, and knows how to derive value from IP. Many companies lose out on value from intellectual property because of lack of commitment, investment or knowledge.
Value of IP Audits
As outlined earlier, an IP Audit can help a company in many ways. It can help a company:
Identify ideas, inventions and creations that may be converted into IP Assets;
Frame an IP Strategy that promotes the company’s business goals, and helps the company realize business, competitive and financial value;
Devise IP Policy and Processes to implement the strategy;
Implement best practices and put appropriate legal instruments in place;
Devise an incentive mechanism to promote inventive/creative activity and disclosure;
Build IP knowledge, culture and hygiene;
Ensure legal and regulatory compliance and put the IP Portfolio in order; etc.
As seen from the case studies, IP Audit can be used in different circumstances for various purposes. Every type of organization ranging from MNCs and Start-Ups to Educational Institutions and Public Sector Undertakings can benefit from IP Audits in several ways. However, the benefit an IP Audit can provide is directly defined by the commitment and approach of the company.
In the light of variable commitment levels, the case studies show divergent value realization in different organizations. While some companies were able to make the best of IP Audits, others were unable to derive benefit from them. In other words, not all companies are able to realize business value from IP Audits.
To sum up, before going for an IP Audit a company must be clear about the purpose of the audit and its value to business. If used properly, IP Audit can help a company scale up the IP value chain, increase financial value by creating IP Assets, retain and generate business revenues, and gain competitive value in the market. If not used appropriately, a company may not be able to gain one or more benefits IP Audits offer.
Contributed with the support of the IP Strategy and Consulting Division of BananaIP Counsels.
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