As a business leader in a small to mid-sized corporation, you know that businesses such as yours are increasingly looking toward intellectual property as a means to generate assets. This is not surprising because it is estimated that less than 15 % or greater of your corporation’s value today is situated in its tangible assets. (See for example, http://www.ipfrontline.com/depts/article.asp?id=3674&deptid=3) Not all of this intangible value is located in your patents, off course. Indeed, your corporation may not even own any patents today. But if your organization extracts measurable value from proprietary technology or products, corporate value is heavily reliant on your patent and intellectual property strategy. That is, if your corporation’s technology and/or products are valuable, another company is likely to want a piece of the action, which, will result in erosion of your sales and profits. If this is the case for your corporation, you may be wondering how your company can get into the intellectual property strategy game.
As an IP Strategist and owner of an IP Strategy and Consulting service, I believe the answer to this question is fairly simple: you need people. But, people are expensive. And, they are even more expensive when they are part of your corporate headcount (as opposed to being hired when needed from outside counsel ranks on an as-needed basis). Before you say that your corporation cannot afford to have an intellectual property strategy because you cannot afford to hire an attorney to handle your intellectual property strategy in-house, you should consider what I believe to be a “new model” for corporate intellectual property. In short, you may be able to do turn the existing paradigm for in-house intellectual property management on its head by engaging a highly trained consultant to design your strategy for you, without being saddled with the ongoing headcount costs for this expert.
When a corporation recognizes the need to embrace intellectual property strategy inside the organization, the traditional model is for the corporation to hire its first in-house intellectual property attorney to be a full-time employee. But, hiring an intellectual property attorney may not be the best way to affect your intellectual property business goals.