IP itself has a lifecycle decoupled from the associated product solutions itself. A patented invention may apply to several product solutions which may be at different phases of their lifecycle. A brand may have a lifecycle that will live through many generations of patented products as an enterprise’s capacity to make product solutions appealing to customers changes over time. Managing these different lifecycles is where part of the art of IP strategy comes into play, and like many arts, learning to do it well depends upon individual and enterprise experience. The guiding line is to first ask what customer experience you would like the end users of your IP to experience in what regions and for how long before the next generation. Next ask if your IP in all its possible configurations that we have discussed give you adequate ownership of the customer experience to shape the markets as best suites your business goals through the various associated technology, product, and IP lifecycles. For that matter, you can also include customer lifecycles because even the pure logic of a technical solution is subject to customer cycles of higher and lower interest.
Image credit: Tom Wachtel