Careful where you aim
There’s a lot of lip service given these days to ‘aligning IP with business goals’. Most times there’s no indication at all about how to do that or any of the practicalities.
One practical matter that comes up time and again is around the goals themselves. Specific goals allow more room for compromise or pivots in the approach used to obtain what really matters.
Putting it another way, an indirect strategy is often the best – picture Alexander the Great at the siege of Tyre – he built a one km long causeway to turn a naval battle (which he would lose) into a land battle (which he won, emphatically). The more specific your goal the more room to use indirect means to achieve it.
Consider the following goal: to lead our market segment in sales of our latest innovation.
Compare this to the goal of maximizing business unit profit by the most effective means.
Say there’s a competitor who launches a product which infringes one of your patents in one of your key markets.
To maximise the number of units sold by you then you probably want an injunction stopping the competitor from selling.
However if it’s business unit profit that is the goal then a license may be much better. You may in fact find that a cross license with access to another technology or market creates even more business unit profit.
Careful where you aim because you may not actually want to be there at all.
Photo Credit: PeterThoeny via Compfight cc