Sophisticated businesses have recognized the value of IP for some time now. IBM, Intel and Microsoft, to name just a few, have made billions of dollars in licensing fees. Often in markets they have not even entered.
Other businesses are likely to know that IP ownership is important, but not view it as the foundational, strategic assets the organization possesses. According to an extensive 2019 report from Growling WLG, “the vast majority of senior executives surveyed (93%) think IP is important to their business. Yet despite this, less than half (45%) include it in board-level decisions on a regular basis.” C-Suite perceptions shape behaviors.
So, where is the disconnect?
IP executives have not done enough marketing regarding their role and value of IP within the organization or industry at large. That can be challenging to overcome given the culture of modesty and quiet competence that permeates the IP community.
But is this really a problem?
IPWatchdog sees a need for increased communication of IP activities to shift the conversation away from negative views of patent and other IP activities . The Patent Invention Magazine views an increase in the value of IP communications as a benefit for the business and IP community.
In-house IP teams at corporations, IP law firms and patent management organizations are not readily understood by the C-Suite of various businesses. The acquisition, management, licensing and sales of IP are often seen as murky activities. IP executives should demonstrate their value and be viewed as industry thought leaders. If an executive of a corporate IP team, or outside IP counsel, can showcase to their how their IP strategy is preparing a business and its customers for success, then the C-Suite will take notice and leverage those communications at an even higher level. These are the kinds of activities that can protect industry market share and stock value. Chances are your sales team may already leverage the fact that you own key patents to demonstrate your organization’s technology prowess, credibility and staying power. But that is not enough.
An excellent way to increase the visibility and credibility of an IP executive and their team is to speak with the business, IP industry and trade media. As they gain positive coverage, they will increasingly be seen as industry thought leaders. And industry thought leaders are in demand, and their opinions are sought after by the C-Suite.
So, how do you go about implementing an effective IP communications campaign? We will start to discuss that in future articles.