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YEAR-END PLANNING: Bring SMART IP objectives into your organization

In recent years, the use of S.M.A.R.T. objectives has moved from the domain of project management into corporate performance and personal development. S.M.A.R.T. criteria and objectives are built upon a sound foundation and provide corporate managers and leaders with actionable criteria to identify and craft personal performance objectives and to set and measure progress towards strategic goals and tactical milestones. 

Do you know if your R&D, Legal and Strategy functions have S.M.A.R.T. IP objectives and criteria included in their management processes?

To recap, S.M.A.R.T. objectives are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

S.M.A.R.T. objectives should include a range of data-driven attributes (I.E. are measurable) that are relevant to your function and strategic objectives. For example, one objective might be to incorporate front-end IP landscape analysis into your R&D programs as a precursor to releasing R&D funds and budgets.  The gains from these early insights are substantial and can save untold millions in lost productivity and misdirected research dollars.

Another may be to work within your strategy to incorporate IP Portfolio Assessments of pipeline acquisition candidates or to include IP analytics benchmarks in your competitive review cycles. Acquiring a market leader (or scaling a platform business) while not controlling the relevant IP rights is an expensive way to “buy-into” increased risk. Smart companies seeking competitive advantage through IP positions use this knowledge to build value and reduce the cost of control premiums.

Legal functions may find great value in applying patent claims ‘assessments’ for quality drafting or to assess and improve the value received from outside counsel.

Here is a specific example from an R&D best practice:

Budget and complete a patent and technology landscape analysis report for all R&D program requests greater than $1,000,000 in net present value in the business case submission.

Following is an example from a Legal and risk management best practice:

Obtain patent claims analysis for the corporate patent portfolio within Q1 to identify those patents that have broad and narrow claims and those patents that are potentially weakened by drafting errors or case law directives. Map the portfolio patent claim assessment to product and revenue streams by the end of Q3 to identify shifts in patent maintenance expense, patent monetization potential and corporate risk management programs.

In the end, craft a specific S.M.A.R.T. IP objective, make it actionable through your project management or performance management programs and you will see results. 

Categories: Patent Strategy, R&D, Patent Analysis