They Are All Honourable Men

This post was first published on 10th July, 2012.

The inevitable question once again – “How many IP managers know what they are doing with their IP?” While I am compelled to say all of them, it is sad that very few have a macro level picture. This opinion has not been pulled out of thin air, it is based on IP work of many professionals in the trenches.

One reason for this gap, if I may call it so, is lack of quality IP management resources. Like four blind men perceiving an elephant based on the part they touch, many of our resources have part but highly specialized knowledge. Some are well versed with the trunk, others with the tail and so on but very few know where they fit in and how the pieces of the puzzle come together. For a patent draftsman, the solution is in high quality drafts that suit more often than not US patent law. For a prosecutor, draft quality does not matter, what really matters is how well you can convince the patent office and for a litigator, the solution is in filing legal notices and law suits. Though the examples are specific to patents, the trend pervades all areas of IP.

“What does IP mean for a manager?” Well, most managers are sourced from the specialists, who believe in their own solution. That is why most companies do not have an IP policy or process, the business objectives of the company are not important in IP planning and IP is the solution to many problems, irrespective of their origin. It is a night mare for the guy, who signs on the checks because he only sees money going out and nothing coming in.

“Where do we begin and where do we end this story?” Some say that transition is always filled with gaps, which will be filled on maturity.” Well, do you think that will happen?” I really hope it does and I wish it happens sooner than later. Else, we may end up with wasted resources and only sub-standard IP assets to boast about.

Image Source/Attribution here (This image is in the public domain)

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