Level Four: Synthesize Opportunities
Companies that have achieved Level Four have come to understand the strategic implications of intellectual property (IP) for their firm. They look beyond defense, costs, and profits (see Figure 6.1). They realize that IP can be used to position them broadly in their marketplace as well as provide tactical positioning. They also see that IP may be used as an effective weapon against competitors. While profits may be made directly from their IP through monetization, companies at Level Four realize there are still greater opportunities. IP is now viewed as an integrated business asset that can be used in a broad range of ways: as a negotiating tool, as a way of positioning the company strategically, or even as a way of affecting the company’s stock price.
In addition, the Synthesize Opportunities level marks a shift in the nature of the IP function. At this level the IP function begins looking outside its own walls to synthesize its expertise and resources with those of the rest of the company. It becomes more innovative and looks for ways to help other parts of the organization reach their goals.