The World Intellectual Property Organization defines intellectual property as: “items of information or knowledge, which can be incorporated into tangible objects at the same time in an unlimited number of copies at different locations anywhere in the world.”
So in other words intellectual property is anything created by an individual or company, whether it is a new invention, a novel, a product or a song, all of these things fall under the intellectual property laws and regulations. Copyrights and patents also help to protect intellectual property. A copyright protects intellectual property that will be copied, like books or music and patents protect the method of creating a product, for example the integrated circuit topography of a cell phone.
An idea however is not essentially considered a form of intellectual property. The idea will only become intellectual property when some work has been applied it, like writing the idea down or designing the product. The more work you put into the idea the more of an intellectual property it will become and the more protection you will have.
Now that we know what intellectual property is, it is pretty easy to understand that any form of intellectual property will involve a significant amount of paperwork, deadlines, docketing, maintenance, communication with patent offices and other time-consuming matters. All of which often requires immediate attention followed by prompt responses. As the intellectual property portfolio grows the many responsibilities and administrative requirements can become a full time job just to manage them.
Trying to stay on top of all matters can become quite taxing for a new company or individual and can obviously detract from free time which would be more beneficially spent coming up with new ideas. This is where intellectual property management will come into play.
Intellectual property management is really all about identifying your intellectual property assets and maximizing the profits of your portfolio. Your intellectual property management policies should be consistent with your overall business strategy, while at the same time helping you to identify opportunities and manage risks to make business decisions in an organized and effective manner.
With a properly developed intellectual property management policy in place you will be able to capitalize on your portfolio including generating revenues from previously unused intellectual property assets, such as patents that you hold that are not doing anything for your company.
If you have been acquiring patents and growing your portfolio it may be time to enlist the help of a professional to manage your intellectual property for you. They will be able to help you recognize opportunities for licensing and other revenue generating ideas that you may not have be aware of at all. There are many companies that specialize in intellectual property management and can easily be found using the internet.
Before signing any contract with an intellectual property management business make sure you do your research about the company, ask them for some recommendations from their previous and current clients and make sure you take the time to call them to see how their experiences have been.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada. This article about intellectual property management was written for Convergent Intellectual Property, a Canadian company specializing in intellectual property services.