Early start-ups and Fortune 500 firms alike have to evaluate new ideas and continuously innovate if they want to stay competitive in the business world today. That means taking a proactive approach to intellectual asset management, from the early phases of development to how those assets are used.
A company's trade secrets, patents, trademarks, unique knowledge, technologies and processes all play a vital part in its ability to survive — and grow. However, in order for a company to leverage these assets, there are certain best practices it should follow:
Know the Value of Intellectual Property & Assets
It can be hard to put a dollar figure on an intangible asset — but no one can plan or apply a good intellectual asset strategy if they don’t properly understand the value therein.
Use the Proper Legal Agreements
Legal agreements are the best way to maintain vital internal and external relationships while also protecting confidential company information. For employees this means non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), non-compete provisions and provisions that set out the ownership of inventions, concepts and ideas. For suppliers and vendors this means agreements on how assets will be used and who maintains ownership of technologies built off of those assets should the relationship be terminated.
Create a Strategy to Build the Company’s Portfolio
Every company should have a strategy in place to actively build and develop its intellectual assets, including documentation procedures to capture new ideas and education policies so that management understands the value of intellectual property (IP) in business deals and for negotiations as well as the value of IP creation. A strong strategy will even take into consideration how IP can provide new revenue streams through licensing programs or strategic sales.
Properly managed intellectual assets fuel strong product and service development, essential for healthy sales growth, making good IAM a key part of doing business today.