Businesses need to convey better awareness of IP rights and what they provide stakeholders or risk loosing billions in value.
That is what a global brand expert says in a new book about IP strategy and value, The Great Catapult.
IP rights are many businesses’ most valuable assets. However, addressing confusion about what they achieve and how are many businesses greatest challenges, especially in a pandemic environment. It is not just patents that are ill-considered, but also trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets.
Written by Zeeger Vink, a Dutch lawyer who has worked and lived in the UK, France and Switzerland, as well as The Netherlands, The Great Catapult is a provocative business analysis by the IP Manager of MF Brands, (Lacoste, Gant) and former brand manager for L’Oréal, an active patent filer.
On first look the slim volume (‘A Guide for the C-suite’) may appear to be another corporate self-help book. It is actually much more: an analysis of how broader awareness of IP’s function by establishing a strategic communications initiative sanctioned by senior management can play an integral role in generating return.
For the full discussion of IP consciousness and a peek into Vink’s book, go to IP Watchdog, ‘IP Consciousness’ – It Starts with Leadership.’
Vink says the reluctance of IP owners to divulge much about their IP is a huge mistake. He believes “the company’s IP position can be strengthened by communicating about it: explaining clearly what the company considers the extent of its rights and the boundaries of its exclusivity will increase respect of its IP instead of weakening its position.”
Sustaining IP Consciousness
“Management and IP departments should [therefore] develop an IP-consciousness roadmap, laying out the steps, timeline, and budget to reach the common goal. Catapult companies identify and formalize the creation and sustaining of IP-consciousness as a strategic objective for the IP department, and actively monitor its progress.”
How essential is it to foster a ‘culture of respect’ for IP and IP rights and those responsible for generating them? Very. The current environment for most IP rights is strangely hostile. It has been perpetuated by self-interest, half-truths and a lack of awareness in the schools.
“[IP consciousness],” writes Vink in The Great Catapult, requires steady and repeated action over time, such as company-wide IP trainings, regular IP reporting to all stakeholders, and intensive interaction between the IP department and operational divisions…”
“Management and IP departments should therefore develop an IP-consciousness roadmap, laying out the steps, timeline, and budget to reach the common goal. Catapult companies identify and formalize the creation and sustaining of IP-consciousness as a strategic objective for the IP department, and actively monitor its progress.”
Read the full story at the new home of the Intangible Investor on IP Watchdog.
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