Formulating IP Strategy – enhancing assets

Chris Bowman (Professor of Strategic Management at Cranfield School of Management) wrote an interesting chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Strategy which is about formulating strategy.

Chris argues that successful strategy relies heavily on identifying and enhancing a firm’s strategic assets – those which help the firm to deliver value to customers.  (One might also describe strategic assets as those which deliver a clear competitive advantage.)

Enhancing strategic assets is clearly done by protecting the intellectual property associated with them.  Interestingly, though, strategic assets are often themselves intellectual property rights.

So how do you enhance an IP right?  The main thing is to keep coming back to the reason that it is strategic – the value it enables you to deliver to customers.  From an IP Strategy perspective then, enhancing the IP asset quickly becomes a program in understanding the essence of the value you deliver, and looking for ways to improve that value and to protect those improvements. 

As an example, this might be in the form of brand extensions into areas which are associated and highly important to customers.  All supported by trade mark, patent, design, copyright, etc rights as appropriate to the situation.

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