This is not to say that your company’s in-house IP management team is not capable of innovating in the area of IP management. To the contrary, in recent years, as shown by the year over year success of best in class companies, many IP lawyers have been at the forefront of innovation in IP management methodologies. However, irrespective of whether your company has embraced the “innovate or die” culture, you should not assume that innovations in IP management will emanate from your in-house IP lawyers.
Admittedly, IP management is somewhat arcane and inaccessible to the non-IP professional. So you may wonder how, as a business strategist, you can discern whether your in-house legal managers are capable of and enthusiastic about introducing new IP management methodologies that will allow your company to maximize the value of its IP assets. Hard or not as it is to understand the world of IP, to make sure your in-house IP legal team is capable of executing your company’s business plans relating to IP assets, you must take the effort to find out if you have the right team in place.
A fairly easy way to gage the likely effectiveness of your in-house IP legal managers to innovate is to have a conversation with your legal team about how other companies, especially those that you know are at the forefront of IP innovation, manage and exploit their IP assets. This conversation will naturally lead to how such techniques can create value in your company. If your in-house IP managers display a lack of knowledge, or worse, a lack of enthusiasm for these benchmarked IP management innovations, you will obtain a clear signal that you may not have the right in-house IP legal team to lead your company into the new world of IP asset management and value creation.
As you know, the right team is critical to execution of your company’s business plans. In today’s world of IP, your business plans include your company’s IP. Make sure you have the right IP team in place, or your company will fail to meet its business goals.