IP Protection

Once solutions have been identified and formulated, the next step is to consider if these are worth protecting, and if so, how. Obviously, this requires a legal assessment, but a well prepared documentation including a description of identified "prior art" such as patents will ease the task of the attorneys.

Also, the analysis of and building on existing solutions will not only solidify the own solution and its right to succeed, but will further identify opportunities for covering neighbouring scope.

Approaching the information gathering and knowledge management in a broad way, the then available business information such as competitive analysis, will allow designing an optimal "filing pattern" for the type and regional extension of the IP protection sought. The increasing globalization (or at least "Europeanization") of the markets require appropriately broadened IP protection. Even though for example patent enforcement / infringement proceedings are still (and also for the near future) handled on a national level, applications are more and more filed on a European, if not global level (PCT/WIPO).

The interaction of the cornerstones of the "IP triangle" must not be limited to the process of getting a IP on file, but it needs to continue throughout the allowance and even enforcement phase - even more so, as this may take several years, during which significant effort can be spend and wasted, e.g. if the relevance of the IP right is lost during this time.