Client Presentation Show IP Analytics Are Essential Part of R&D Processes

At our New York training day last week, an R&D executive from a large Consumer Packaged Goods client gave a presentation about intellectual property at his company.

Scientists and engineers often view IP simply as something you own, he said, but the real value of IP is putting it to use in products and in the market – a similar approach to developing a piece of land.  In fact, if you’re not willing or able to enforce your patents against competitors, then not only have you not captured value from the patent, but you may have trained them on how to create a competitive product! 

Several years ago at his company, a shift in strategy led to a greater focus on new product development.  In his view, it’s the scientist’s/engineer’s responsibility to understand the IP landscape of their project, and in fact they will actually “learn by doing” when they perform IP research using an effective toolset.  In his words, “all R&D projects should start at the library and end at the library.”

When a potentially blocking patent is found to a research approach, he’s working with his R&D personnel to not give up but rather to work with him to pursue licensing or buying the patent, or designing around it.  Also, when filing patents for innovations, he is guiding researchers to write patent claims that cover product composition, which are easier to verify and more effective at protection, instead of just process claims.

Overall, we are seeing more and more uptake by R&D groups to make IP analysis an essential part of their project development process, at the start of a project and at multiple checkpoints during the development process.

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