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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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Is My Company a Candidate for the Edison Pyramid?

First of all, not every IP-owning company needs to be intently managing its intellectual property. There are a number of good reasons why companies holding intellectual property may not need to be on the Edison Pyramid. In general, one may divide such companies into two sets:

1. Managing IP does not make sense for the company. For companies in this set it is most often the case that intellectual property is not strategic.

a. Companies involved with commodity products.

b. Companies whose products or services are not differentiable.

c. Companies in industries that are mature and also in “harvest” mode.

2. Managing IP may make sense for the company.

Companies describing themselves as firmly in the first set need to read no further. They are probably okay being IP-indifferent. Their circumstance does not appear to call for further action.

But, for companies recognizing that managing IP may make some sense, they should consider a self-examination of the relationship between their business and the possibilities IP may offer. Only through such an exercise is it possible to determine whether managing the company’s IP is sufficiently important to warrant an increased investment.

Self-Examination

It is often difficult for companies that are not sophisticated about the kinds of business value IP may provide to determine whether its value to them would be worth whatever kinds of cost they may have to incur to obtain it. After all, intellectual ...

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