Like many maturing companies, Facebook has been unwinding complexity from its business(1).
What does this mean for the IP Strategy team?
If you’ve built intellectual property strategies around products or services that are going to be shelved what do you do?
Do you have a good understanding of the new strategy?
Is there a new strategy? And if not, how can you optimize around a particular direction?
If you’ve spent the time to map all of your IP Rights to the products and services they support, you’ll have an easier time identifying which IP rights need to be reassessed in light if the change in focus.
If you haven’t done this exercise yet then do it now.
Here are some brief thoughts to get you thinking.
One method is to assign IP Rights into one or more of the four categories:
A – supporting current products or services.
B – supporting future planned products or services.
C – strategic value (eg covers a current or likely future product or service of a competitor.)
D – no strategic value but potentially salable or licensable to a non competitor.
When the business team starts to ‘reduce’ complexity’ – ie pull products or services, you can check whether the supporting IP Rights are in any classes aside from A and manage them appropriately.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg – what would you do first?
(1) – (See comments from Emily White, recently tasked with monetizing Instagram.)
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