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Written by Joe Khurana

Maintaining Control of IP During the Innovation Process

maintaining control of IPWhen you have a truly innovative idea, it’s only natural that you would want to protect it. Nothing is worse than fleshing out a concept during brainstorming or ideation sessions, only to find that someone has beaten you to the punch.

How can you ensure that someone doesn’t take possession of your intellectual property while you’re in the process of research and development for your products? By putting IP intelligence at the forefront of your innovation process. 

Let’s take a look at what that might entail.

The Innovation Process

For many, the innovation process from beginning to end looks something like this:

  • Ideation
  • Business case formation
  • Development of the idea
  • Testing and experimentation
  • Large-scale commercialization

If you’re involved in product development within your company, this is probably a familiar process to you. Some, however, may notice that something crucial is missing.

Where, in this process, does the company seek out information about existing intellectual property or patents? How can the development of the product continue without in-depth knowledge of potential infringement cases?

Before a single move is made, IP intelligence should be gathered. If all companies put IP at the forefront of their innovation process, no one would need to worry that infringement might occur at some point.

Protecting Your Ideas

If you’ve already put IP first and know what innovation is already occurring, then you can create freely within your company. At this point, keeping your intellectual property a secret seems like the right thing to do. How can you trust other companies not to steal your ideas and disrupt your business by hitting the market first?

Since you can’t keep your idea fully secret, why not protect yourself with provisional patents? With this, you can protect your intellectual property as you develop your ideas. You can also learn from others as you study your new patent landscape. See what other companies are doing within your industry so you can determine where this is more white space for innovation.

In fact, spending plenty of time with IP analysis does more to protect you from theft and infringement than keeping your ideas a secret until the very last minute. Your provisional patent lets other companies know they’re traversing dangerous litigation waters. Most would rather seek out their own white space for innovation than to risk costly lawsuits by taking your ideas.

To learn more about protecting your innovations through IP intelligence, give us a call. We can work with you to identify space where a sustainable competitive position can be attained—all without the worry of losing your IP to competitors
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Categories: IP Innovation