Build an intellectual property strategy: Reassess and realign

6. Reassess and realign

Developing an intellectual property (IP) strategy and routines to manage your IP is a first step toward strategic IP asset management. Routines need to be flexible and allow you to adjust your IP strategy, so you can respond to changes in the marketplace.

The development of your IP strategy is not a task you complete once, as the strategy will evolve over time.

Reasons your IP strategy could change

Business objectives may evolve over time

New competitors may enter the market and disrupt the current market dynamics. This may require a change in resource allocation and in how IP assets are prioritized.

Businesses themselves may evolve

Businesses evolve over time through mergers and acquisitions. Strategic partnerships or unexpected product or service changes may happen. This may bring extra IP assets into the portfolio that need management and may require resources to be re-prioritized.

Assets can become expensive to maintain

Some IP assets, once granted or registered, require the payment of maintenance fees at specific times to remain in good standing. These fees may become costly and require review and prioritization. The cost of maintaining IP assets should be weighed against their business value.

Plan for regular review and re-prioritization of IP assets

You should plan for regular review and re-prioritization of incoming and active IP assets. The frequency for review varies for different businesses and their IP portfolio sizes. Many global businesses review their IP annually, quarterly or even monthly.

The direction of your IP portfolio is important. As your business's IP assets grow over time, your branding or technology may also evolve, along with the costs to maintain and manage your IP assets. You may need to consider regularly trimming and refocusing. Your business position may also change, and you may need to consider acquiring more IP assets to secure the desired or extra IP protection.