Roadmapping for formulating IP Strategies
The increasing relevance of intangible assets and intellectual capital for building, maintaining and growing competitiveness is causing intellectual property (IP) to take up an expanding share of a company’s resources. The direct impact of IP on the value and profit of a company means that companies need to develop strategic IP management skills. However, IP is largely poorly managed by addressing it operationally at lower hierarchy levels. There is usually a lack of understanding of IP strategies and approaches to their formulation. This problem is addressed by presenting a business-tool that first conceptualises IP strategy and provides support for the formulation of business-aligned IP strategies. Through an iterative business-tool development process, a roadmapping approach was developed, consisting of a five-step process and a corresponding template. The process starts with the identification of the strategic landscape for the alignment of the IP strategy, followed by a specific formulation of business objectives to be supported. Then relevant IP assets from the ecosystem and company are considered to identify their effective use. Operational IP strategies are then formulated for individual IP assets in accordance with the business objectives and strategic landscape. Finally, a time-dependent narrative for the IP strategy is created. The approach is realised by filling out a template in a workshop, which enables company-wide communication, visualisation and understanding of the IP strategy concept. Thus, this approach supports companies of different size and industry in formulating IP strategies to support business objectives and hence value maximisation.