IP Exploitation

Once the IP portfolio has been established, and patents and/or other IP rights have been applied for and (eventually) granted, the time of harvest is come. Whilst - for example - a published patent application may result in competitors spending effort against avoiding the scope, it is more, and more obviously rewarding to see licensing income, or to experience a monopoly based on the IP, or at least a clear market advantage to impact the "bottom line" profit.

Of course, there is the need to look for "deadwood" and to reduce or eliminate protection for certain paths, which have not turned out to be of strategic importance any more, but there is also the need for actively looking how to exploit the rights - and then there may be an actual € (or £ or $ or ¥ or ...) value assigned to them such as resulting from licensing revenues. There can also be a less tangible, but nonetheless evenly important pay-out by restraining competitor's moves, allowing better margins, higher sales or both.

Beyond the direct exploitation on the market, IP portfolio management can be an extremely valuable tool in the field of merger and acquisitions – be it in the form of analysing acquisition candidates, or be it in the form of providing valuable IP assets as part of a business takeover. For Venture Capital Companies, it is not unusual, that all the value lies in IP rights – optionally flavoured with "know-how".

These strategic challenges require, however, an efficient IP Management – building the bridge between the noble goals and the averseness of getting lost in details – requiring a good balance of sound but fast decision making and cost-optimized administration.