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IP challenges and solutions

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IP challenges and solutionsToday on IPcopy we are pleased to welcome the return of guest contributor Annette Freeman (Freeman IP/K2):

In 2012 IQPC released a paper reporting on trends in IP as seen by owners and practitioners worldwide. 

Some of the Key Findings make interesting reading:

  • Some 93.6% of Trademark professionals and 96.4% in Patents consider controlling costs to be of importance to their business.
  • Alignment of Trademark/Patent Assets with Business Strategy is considered one of the most business-critical activities.
  • Lack of a Comprehensive Trademark Culture/Lack of In-House Manpower were the biggest current challenges identified.
  • The primary solution currently identified by Trademark professionals is consultancy while in patent it is software.

With control of costs, alignment to business strategy, lack of an in-house IP culture and low manpower on the list of “challenges” it comes as no surprise that “the primary solution currently identified by Trademark professionals is consultancy.”

Reading further in the IQPC paper, the survey found that while reducing costs was important, it wasn’t the most important aspects for managers of trade mark portfolios. For these managers, the top priorities identified were strategy-related: Alignment of Trademarks with Business Strategy, and Review and Valuation. As the paper comments:

“It is surprising that Cost comes as the third most important priority, given the harsh economic climate, but this suggests businesses are intelligently assessing what is needed in their programmes and developing cost-reduction strategies from those findings.”

And the solutions that the respondents to the survey had considered?

“The most commonly identified problem by Trade Mark survey respondents was Lack of a Comprehensive Trademark Culture in the Organisation (48.7%). Close to half (48.6%) had contemplated Consultancy Services Related to Trademark Portfolio Management, while a similar number (45.9%) had considered Trademark Portfolio Management Software. The option of Outsourcing of Trademark Portfolio Management had been weighed up by 35.1% of those organisations that took part in the survey.”

The report includes some interesting quotes from survey respondents, describing how their companies have weighed the advantages and disadvantages of upgrading their software tools, outsourcing all or some of their IP management, encouraging senior management buy-in to IP, entering emerging markets, what to outsource, choosing the right tools, and similar strategic questions.

As the survey paper concludes:

“For all legal professionals and organisations, regardless of industry, maturity and size, IP Portfolio Management strategy is a cornerstone of success and a driver for growth. An openness to embrace the growing availability of new technology is also key to enable greater efficiency, transparency and business-wide systems.”

Annette Freeman  15 August 2013

Annette is the principal of Freeman IP, a boutique IP consultancy, and also an attorney within K2, an innovative network of patent and trade mark attorneys developed by Keltie LLP.

This blog post originally appeared on the Freeman IP blog and is reproduced with permission from Annette Freeman.

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