Increase awareness and communication to really get your innovation and R&D going.
Increasing R&D efficiency can be achieved relatively easy by supporting interdepartmental communications, setting in place an IP education program and creating an effective incentive structure. I have touched upon the benefits of supporting interdepartmental communication and collaboration in one of my earlier blogs (The (IP) Learning Organisation) so I will take this chance to focus on the specifics of an R&D education and incentive program.
An IP education program can be applied to big and small companies which wish to reduce costs, increase the patentable outcomes resulting from R&D and elevate the value of the patentable subject matter. What should the IP education program be about? A useful education program for the R&D department should include at least issues such as:
– how to keep R&D lab books in line with international requirements
– how to manage confidential information’s
– what are the patentability requirements
– how to use surveillance programs to guide the actions of the department towards researching in areas that show upcoming demands on is the market
– to what depth technical specifications need to be included in a patent to make good patent claims,
Covering these issues should give your R&D team the basic understanding on intellectual property and focus their activities towards increasing both patentable subject matter and the value of this patentable subject matter. Combined with a carefully thought through incentive program that rewards the quality of patents (can contain milestone for specific circumstances like a PCT application’s entrance into national phase, or other) and structures that encourage interdepartmental communication such an education program is likely to increase your R&D efficiency and offer your team the focus needed.