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Tips and tricks from your IP specialists

Does your innovation and IP have rizz?

Rizz is the word of the year, and the answer to the question is yes they do.

IP and innovation rizz is reflected by one's insatiable wanting for creativity, progress, and potential economic success. Innovation often leads to groundbreaking ideas and advancements, while IP protects and incentivizes creators and inventors. The allure comes from the excitement of discovery, the potential for transforming industries, and the competitive edge that effective IP management can provide in the business world. For some its about being disruptive, while for others it about making bank.

Why is innovation and IP so seductive, compelling, … hot?

Like bees to honey, business owners, entrepreneurs and investors are drawn to the need (not want) of being first to market and consistently maximize value, the MV of MVIP®. If done well, the competition is far in the rear view mirror, with little concern for that pesky warning that “objects in (the) mirror are closer than they appear". It is however recommended to check from time to time, at the risk of being passed like … on the German Autobahn.

Both innovation and intellectual property are known catalysts to increasing business value. On one hand, IP may be the largest business asset that drives revenue or exit price, while on the other hand, innovation can help you anticipate market changes and get ahead of opportunities (and the competition). There is, therefore, a lot to be said about the importance of maximizing value and how this can be achieved through innovation and IP, especially when:

  • “84 percent of consumers say it is somewhat or very important that the company they purchase from is innovative. Innovation is seen as a vital aspect in the purchase decision, especially when it enhances the customer’s self-image.” (Quirks, 2015);

  • “innovation separates businesses from their competition, and allows to distinguish itself from others.” (HBS, 2022, further echoed in other articles, such as: Kurtmollaiev et als., 2022);

  • Brands aligned with corporate purpose and values are also highly valued by consumers (WEF, 2021). Trust is key, and IP can be used to enhance marketing efforts and expand reach to new customers (WIPO Magazine, 2023);

  • for investors, part of the “gamble” is either betting on the right horse or the right jockey? (Kaplan et al., 2009). Irrespective of the target, there is generally a return on innovation investment, which Strategyzer posits “as a general rule of thumb, a successful innovation portfolio can be expected to produce at least 10X returns in revenues”. Brightidea states that “companies that invested in innovation saw 30%+ increase in their CAGR.” For more information on the crossroads between investment and IP, consult our book chapter (Springer, 2023).

There are, of course, many other strategies and processes that can be employed to maximize value of a business, such as:

  • Mitigating against IP leakages and foreign interference by conducting internal assessments and implementing processes that address cyber security, HR practices, contractual protections as well as protect revenue streams;

  • Finding IP and innovation synergies, including the identification of (i) acquisition, and (ii) sale of IP opportunities, as well as (iii) strategic partnerships with others (joint ventures, collaborations, etc.);

  • Exploring licensing and/or royalty opportunities;

  • Capturing funding opportunities to support the creation and commercialization of IP;

  • Improving the business's innovation and IP culture;

  • Optimization of business models, including the alignment of business and IP strategies together, as well as adopting IP-related thought leadership;

  • Creating or joining an IP marketplace, or IP pool;

  • amongst others.

Nor must we forget that governments around the world are investing billions and billions of dollars in innovation. One only need to look at the top 20 countries of the WIPO Global Innovation Index and look at the fund size of the Horizon 2030, Belt Road Initiative, amongst many other programs.

Grit; Innovation & IP: examples

Some of Time's best 200 inventions of 2023 are obvious - OpenAI GPT-4, AR/VR, EV batteries - but others are not like those relating to rollable laptop and accessibility devices, such as smart canes. However, what is common to all of the technologies, was the grit - the “courage and resolve; strength of character” (see here and here ) - required to bring these new products to market, from the initial steps of ideation to securing intellectual property on products and services, including brand names. Even here we're not giving justice to all the other supporters required to ensure business success and value creation, including employees, customers and external stakeholders, including advisors and consultants.

So, does your innovation and IP have rizz? Contact us to learn more.


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