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Über dieses Buch

This book explores how the entire toolbox of intellectual property (IP) protection and management are successfully combined and how firms generate value from IP. It provides a framework of archetypes which firms will be able to self-identify with and which will allow companies to focus on the IP and IP Management issues most relevant to them.



1. Introduction

The creation and usage of intellectual property (IP) is central to a wide variety of firms. Firms engaged in new technologies or other intangible assets often find it difficult to reap the rewards of their efforts, not least because of competitors imitating or copying their products. IP is a useful tool for avoiding these infringements, for protecting ideas, for investments and for the future of the firm. However, IP is not only useful for gaining or retaining market share. It may be used as a directly tradable asset or as part of the firm’s strategy to increase competitiveness or positioning in a variety of markets. An IP strategy is a crucial element in the overall strategy of the firm, which addresses marketing, production and sales. The number of IP registrations is increasing globally. IP is hence increasingly relevant to a firm’s ability to operate efficiently and satisfactorily. This chapter argues for the relevance of working with IP as part of the firm’s strategy. The objective and outline of the book is presented in the closing section.
Lars Alkaersig, Karin Beukel, Toke Reichstein

2. IP Archetypes: Rookies, Strategists, Dealers and Strategic Dealers

Firms approach IP in different ways. This is not only evident in their varying use of different IP rights, such as patents, trade secrets, trademarks, design or copyright, but also in the degree to which IP functions as an integrated part of daily operations. Firms who consider IP an integral part of securing competitiveness may employ an aggressive approach, using IP to block competitors or registering IP rights specifically to sell or license. Alternatively, firms may adopt a more defensive approach, only using IP to protect their most vital products. We introduce a crude but illustrative and manageable taxonomy of IP management by identifying two key dimensions: ‘integrated IP management’ and ‘IP exchange oriented’. Based on these two dimensions we present four IP archetypes; the IP Rookie, the IP Strategist, the IP Dealer and the IP Strategic Dealer. Each one represents a way a firm may work with and think about IP. Firms will be able to identify with different archetypes, and thereby understand the degree of their involvement in IP and how they may be able to transform their business in terms of IP management.
Lars Alkaersig, Karin Beukel, Toke Reichstein

3. The IP Rookie

In numbers alone the IP Rookie is the most common type of IP active firm. The IP Rookie is identified by a low degree of integrated IP management and a low degree of IP exchange orientation. These firms are commonly small or medium sized and they seldom consider IP as part of their business. Many IP Rookies are aware of the challenges and opportunities that lie in IP, but consider IP registration and enforcement as a complex and expensive process outside their scope. IP Rookies commonly operate as a manufacturing firm in an industry with little or no IP registration by competitors and are often market followers. Geographically, the IP Rookie tends to operate locally, producing and selling primarily in their home market. Operating as an IP Rookie may be appropriate for some firms, however they could derive a long-term benefit in developing their integrated IP management. Should the IF Rookie decide that IP ought to be part of their future business, the first step is to ensure that any IP activity is related to the firm’s overall strategy by formulating an IP strategy. Further steps include: the development of internal capabilities within IP; formalization of processes; and setting aside dedicated resources to IP related issues. Another approach to develop the work with IP for the IP Rookie is to start considering exchange of IP as a potential leverage. Seeking licensing opportunities might open new ways the firm can benefit from its W.
Lars Alkaersig, Karin Beukel, Toke Reichstein

4. The IP Dealer

The IP Dealer and the IP Rookie are quite similar, both archetypes are defined by a low level of integrated IP management and lack personnel and resources dedicated to W. However, unlike the IP Rookie, the IP Dealer has had a limited experience of dealing with IP, for example in licensing or trading in W. IP Dealers can be firms who generate value from selling or out-licensing technological inventions to third parties, or firms who buy or in-license well-known, popular brands to further the sales of their existing products. Like the IP Rookie, many IP Dealers find that working with IP is a complex and expensive endeavor. The IP dealers express their own approach to IP as a sign of agility and nimbleness, but also recognize that their approach (being non-strategic) is ad hoc and a highly serendipitous approach to achieving success working with W. Some firms become IP Dealers through choice, having identified a business opportunity in licensing IP rights. However, it may also occur by circumstance, where the IP Dealer is approached by a third party wanting to license one or more of their IP rights or when the firm has infringed a third party right unintentionally and is therefore forced to in-license the IP to keep the firm’s products on the market. No matter why they engage in licensing or trading IP, IP Dealers are more inquisitive than IP Rookies, and may have taken the first steps towards a more organized way of handling W.
Lars Alkaersig, Karin Beukel, Toke Reichstein

5. The IP Strategist

The IP Strategist is typically an innovative firm, which often experiences substantial costs in developing new products. The IP Strategist is well aware of the importance of IP to their business for protecting their investment in product development. To many IP Strategists, the continued survival of the firm depends on the successful use of IP. The IP Strategist employs a formal process when working with IP, a process that is well structured and articulated. Commonly, the IP Strategist will have resources dedicated to working with IP, including a dedicated IP person, though that person may not necessarily be formally trained. The IP Strategist is often internationally oriented due to a saturated home market or to selling niche products with a limited customer base in the home market. This pushes the IP Strategist to work with IP internationally and requires substantial knowledge of IP regulation and conduct in export, transit and production countries. The IP Strategist is reluctant to engage in trading or licensing IF, which is a key point in distinguishing the IP Strategist from the IP Dealer and IP Strategic Dealer. This can be due to a lack of knowledge of the potential benefits, but in many cases it is a deliberate strategic decision due to the firm’s competitive situation.
Lars Alkaersig, Karin Beukel, Toke Reichstein

6. The IP Strategic Dealer

Firms defined as IP Strategic Dealers are the most adept at working with IP, using best practice or being at an advanced stage approaching best practice. These are internationally oriented, innovative firms that are continuously challenged both by other IP Strategic Dealers encroaching on their market position and by infringement of their IP rights. The IP Strategic Dealer has a formalized IP strategy as an integrated part of the firm’s strategy, and commonly employs a dedicated IP manager. IP Strategic Dealers tend to have formalized their IP processes, many to the point where IP is integrated into the stage-gate models the firms use in product development. As a part of the formalized process, the IP Strategic Dealer has a systematic learning process, where experiences are retained and invoked into new routines. The IP Strategic Dealer employs multiple layers of protection, using several patents, trade secrets, trademarks, design rights and/or copyrights to protect firm assets. This provides the IP Strategic Dealer with a synergetic effect that increases the levels of protection. Not all Strategic Dealers are at the most advanced level, however all are strongly committed to using IP as a central part of their firm’s strategy and continuously learn and develop their competencies in working with IP.
Lars Alkaersig, Karin Beukel, Toke Reichstein

7. IP Strategy

In this chapter we present the scope, direction and dimension of an IP strategy. Developing an IP strategy is vital to ensuring that any IP related activities are aligned with the overall goals and objectives of the firm. An IP Strategy should consist of the objectives, principles and tactics related to using IP within the firm. Three types of IP Strategy are presented: a proprietary strategy, which uses IP to shield the firm’s competitive advantage; the defensive strategy, which focuses on ensuring the firm has the freedom to operate in the future; and the leveraging strategy, which uses IP as a bargaining chip. We present a taxonomy of an IP strategy, consisting of a patent strategy, a trademark strategy, a design right strategy, a copyright strategy, a trade secrets strategy and an enforcement strategy. Each of these parts of the overall IP strategy covers the scope of timing and geography, setting up criteria for when and where to apply for IP rights. The patent strategy is further expanded to cover technology, to help the firm decide which technologies to patent. As a part of the enforcement strategy, we present a model for an en forcement hierarchy, highlighting the different levels and methods available to enforce IP rights. In addition, the chapter introduces the basics of the different types of IP rights, providing an overview for the reader not familiar with IP rights.
Lars Alkaersig, Karin Beukel, Toke Reichstein

8. Markets for IP

Markets for IP represent opportunities for firms to reap additional rents from IP or to reach out and harvest further competitive advantages through alternative channels. As we will see in this chapter, one reason for becoming active in markets for IP may be that firms are subject to increasing competitive pressure. One way to harness competitive advantages beyond internal ones is to embark on IP exchange with the licensing or trading of IP rights. However, this is not an easy task and there are many pitfalls and dangers. To facilitate this process, firms often employ IP brokers to identify which IP rights might be valuable for the firm to license and to act as mediators in the process of matching up with the most appropriate partners in a fruitful manner. This chapter discusses some of these issues and presents some thoughts to allow the reader to anticipate some of the dangers and understand how they may realize maximum benefit from IP markets.
Lars Alkaersig, Karin Beukel, Toke Reichstein

9. IP Archetypes and Demographics

This chapter maps similarities in IP practice between firms sharing particular demographic dimensions. We explain, theoretically, how IP practices may overlap among a defined set of organizations. Specifically, we emphasize four mechanisms: isomorphism; heritage of practices; market selection; and resource constraints. These mechanisms operate globally and shape general practice. However, they may also impact the choices made with respect to IP management causing overlap in, for instance, practices across firms within the same geographical area, in the same industry, or of the same size. The chapter also puts forward empirical investigations which suggest that these four mechanisms do indeed operate in numerous dimensions, putting a upper limit on the observed variation in IP practices in a specified set of organizations. In comparing the four IP archetypes with respect to size and composition of employees, we find that IP Strategists and IP Strategic Dealers in general employ a relatively higher number of managers, engineers and scientists with a PhD. These firms tend to be both larger and younger when compared to IP Rookies and IP Dealers.
Lars Alkaersig, Karin Beukel, Toke Reichstein

10. IP and Economic Performance

Innovation and technological development play a major role in driving economic growth. Firms who utilize IP to protect their investment in research and innovation can therefore expect to see a higher economic performance. Those firms that pursue IP and IP management to gain and preserve a competitive advantage do, however, expend considerable resources in the registration and enforcement of rights, so that not all IP active firms can expect an increased economic performance. In this chapter we compare the economic performance of the different IP archetypes, taking into account variation among firms, such as industry, size and structure. We find that IP Rookies and IP Inactives generally have lower revenues and profits when compared to similar firms that are more advanced IP archetypes. IP Strategic Dealers tend to outperform others, with higher revenues and profits when compared to similar IP Strategists or IP Rookies. However, IP Dealers sometimes see an increased economic performance when compared to the IP Strategist and IP Rookie, remaining at a level similar to the IP Strategic Dealer.
Lars Alkaersig, Karin Beukel, Toke Reichstein


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