Discovering ideas in a company is an important, but a very difficult task to accomplish. Three basic factors, among others, make the process of discovery very complex and arduous.
- Internal biases;
- External environment; and
- knowledge and process issues.
R & D and engineering divisions of many companies in India have an inherent bias against IP protection, and often take up IP activities only due to pressure from the senior management, and not because they believe in IP as a business tool. Their inability to assess ideas with IP potential and perception of IP as a non-integral part of their affairs often pushes IP to the back seat. Failure of IP holders in the Indian market and courts lends credibility to the belief that ideas are not as important as they are perceived to be.
Also, most scientists, researchers, engineers and inventors put IP at a high threshold, sometimes higher than the threshold for scientific publication, that they ignore protectable IP without appropriate analysis. Ineffective incentive schemes and difficult, opaque processes dissuade inventors and creators from disclosing and pursing IP protection for their ideas. Also, organisations are sometimes so process driven that product development and delivery is given priority over IP identification and protection.
For the aforementioned and other reasons, valuable ideas remain undiscovered, unidentified and lost. Every company, irrespective of its nature, size and field, will have ideas waiting to be found and excavated. Finding these ideas is useful for a business in many ways. It will help a company:
- Kick-start protection of its intellectual assets;
- Increase number of IP filings and meet, or exceed yearly targets;
- Convert ideas into intellectual assets and increase financial valuation;
- Build business and competitive advantage in the marketplace through exclusivity offered by intellectual property;
- Use ideas to build, retain and grow revenues from products and services;
- Open opportunities for licensing and sale of intellectual property;
- Use intellectual property for business development and marketing;
- Establish credibility and visibility among investors ; and
- Substantially increase the financial value of the company.
Finding ideas can pave the way for several business opportunities. Having said that, each idea needs to be analyzed and mapped for potential business benefit before investing in the idea. The ideas must of course be first identified before they are analyzed. How can ideas be found?
Contributed with the support of the IP Strategy and Consulting Division of BananaIP.
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