Step 2

Establishing IPR goals

Not everything can or should be protected and there are many forms of protection. Management should establish general objectives or focus areas for knowledge and IPR – for example, you can:

  • Look at what knowledge has the greatest value for the company. Decide where to focus your IPR effort.
  • Look at the key markets for the company now and in the immediate future. Decide which geographical areas to prioritise.
  • Assess the protection situation for knowledge and markets – can the most important knowledge be protected, and if so, how? Remember to evaluate the entire process, both the possibility of registering rights and subsequent enforcement.
  • Consider the pros and cons of protection. A patent also means disclosure – perhaps your knowledge can be kept a business secret instead?
  • Is there a risk of total copying that will undermine revenue and the brand? Or will your competitiveness suffer because rivals have access to the same technology? What are your competitors doing?

Your answers to the above questions will provide a basis for establishing goals – e.g. what and where you will protect and on which criteria will you base your IPR decisions. IPR goals range from a written policy with inherent rules and guidelines to short sentences or principles communicated at a joint meeting. Choose the form that is relevant for your company – and gradually develop it.