Your IP Management Capabilities: Where Do You Stand?

This is the first in a series of blog posts detailing the importance of establishing an IP Maturity Model assessment process.

With over $30B a year spent on IP litigation, $15B+ on prosecution, and $18B+ spent on high-profile acquisitions, IP is BIG BUSINESS. No matter how big or small your organization, if you have IP it is important to manage it accordingly. But what does “accordingly” mean? How can you tell if you are doing enough or too much?

This is the first in a series of blog posts detailing the importance of establishing an IP Maturity Model assessment process. This process is a way by which you can determine where you are and where you want to be when it comes to managing IP within your enterprise. My goal in sharing this model and assessment method is to introduce a practical approach to improving IP Management across your enterprise. Something that isn’t intimidating, that is customizable, and most importantly practical.

Let’s start with the fundamentals. We all know the old management adage “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” But how do you know what to measure in the first place? How do you know what the measurements mean in context to improving your business? That’s where a maturity model comes in, by providing a common method to:

  • Assess an organization’s IP management capabilities against best-of-breed
  • Identify new and better ways to achieve economies of scale that can help strengthen the return from the organization’s IP portfolio
  • Align IP management capabilities with organizational goals
  • Address key issues that may be limiting the value of the organization’s IP investment

A maturity model provides a framework to measure the process improvement achievements of the organization across multiple dimensions or process areas. As in the Innography IP Maturity Model below, we have identified five key dimensions as they relate to our knowledge and expertise built through years of working with organizations of all sizes and level of maturity.

The measurements are based on maturity levels; each level is a well-defined evolutionary plateau toward achieving a mature IP process. Most importantly, each level of maturity correlates to specific business drivers. Below is an example of the maturity levels applied in the Innography IP Maturity Model™. Level 0 is assumed as a starting point and as such is not documented in the maturity matrix above.



Next time we will discuss a high level method to assess your organization’s capabilities using the Innography IP Maturity Model™.

In writing this series I would be remiss not to mention a very good source, Edison in the Boardroom Revisited: How Companies Realize Value from Their Intellectual Property by Suzanne S. Harrison and Patrick H. Sullivan. This book is based on the cooperation of a group of companies, called the ICM (Intellectual Capital Management) Gathering, which first met in 1995. From this event eventually came a tiered pyramid shape called the Value Hierarchy comprised of five levels each which represent the expected contribution IP should be making towards the corporate goals. If you haven’t read this book already, I highly recommend you do so as it will give you another perspective on potential enterprise IP management self-evaluation and improvement ideas.


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