“Ok, we have IP, but how do we get value from it?” - this was the question, asked by one of our clients last week.
Probably the most obvious approach to thinking about intellectual property is to use it to prevent imitation and exercise market power.
However, this is also what frequently makes entrepreneurs believe that IP is not relevant for them. Enforcement calls for a legal budget, competition is moving fast… In other words, preventing imitation might in reality turn out to be quite a costly “adventure” with a limited outcome.
The good news is that this is certainly not the only way to extract value from your IP.
You can also sell it.
Directly or through IP brokers, who frequently have buyers interested in acquiring IP assets in a number of technology sectors.
If you don’t want to sell, you can decide to retain the ownership and license your IP instead.
The beauty of licensing is not only in the extra cash flow that it generates for the IP owner but also in its potential of shaping competition and even creating a technological lock-in effect.
If your IP asset is a technology, licensing it at a reasonable fee is in a way a “protection strategy”.
If it is cheaper to license your technology instead of trying to, for example, challenge your patent, your rival will most probably opt to become your licensee.
And here we come to collaboration.
From SSOs (standard-setting organizations) to innovation platforms and many other forms of strategic collaboration through IP - you can be as creative as you please.
Consider, for example, the IAP IP model of IMEC - an R&D hub for nano- and digital technologies, headquartered in Leuven, Belgium. IMEC has established an IP-based orchestration model for innovation ecosystems through multi-party research collaborations between public and private firms. This IP-based collaboration model is an outstanding example of how to appropriate IP value in a collaborative setup. (Here is a link to the article by Bart Leten, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Nadine Roijakkers explaining this model in more detail).
Finally, your IP assets are risk management essentials, ensuring that your business model is not compromised by third-party rights.
IP assets can act as talent magnets, marketing edge enablers and strong signals to your competitors that you have serious intentions.
In other words, IP has value, grows in value and can deliver value to its owner in many different ways.
Want to learn more or discuss specifics of your business?
We are always at your service.