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Edison in the Boardroom Revisited: How Leading Companies Realize Value from Their Intellectual Property, Second Edition by Patrick H. Sullivan, Suzanne S. Harrison

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What Level One Companies Are Trying to Accomplish

We begin our discussion of best practices by focusing attention on the companies at the first level of IP Management: Defend Position. Firms operating at this level are concerned with the creation and management of sufficient numbers of patents to protect the firm’s core intellectual property and to ensure defense against potential infringers. Companies at this level typically see the role of intellectual property as purely defensive.

The primary concerns for companies at this level are the classical defensive objectives:

  • Protection of IP
  • Avoidance of litigation
  • Freedom to design

Companies at this level are often focused on accruing adequate depth and breadth of IP coverage to provide the desired protection.

At Level One, companies are trying to accomplish four things:

1. Ensure that their business is adequately protected (creating and implementing processes for identifying intellectual property protection opportunities).

2. Create processes to facilitate patent generation and maintenance (screening these opportunities against the company’s vision and strategy).

3. Create processes for enforcing patents (up to and including litigation).

4. Create educational programs regarding IP and its link to business value (emphasizing the theme of Level One, defense).

Activities for Level One companies focus on generating a sizable and relevant IP portfolio as quickly as possible. Companies at this level are concerned with the quantity ...

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