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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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IP as an Enabler to Innovation

So how does this all link up inside P&G? As this has proven to be key in enabling the work of Open Innovation, it’s valuable to look quickly at the structure that supports the work.

Every P&G business unit has a business strategy and an innovation strategy. These are reviewed annually with the CEO, the CTO, the CFO, and others in leadership. Their strategic choices are identified, as well as how they cascade into the innovation strategy and the innovation program and how resources are being deployed.

Across R&D, P&G also has embedded experts who report to the senior R&D leadership and facilitate Open Innovation work for their particular business. That person is a key partner for Open Innovation work. They help Global Business Development teams formulate search priorities, vet, screen and talk with outside partner candidates, and generally facilitate Open Innovation awareness and training across their business areas.

As a general rule, P&G does not seek an IP or proprietary position on things that the company doesn’t envision commercializing.

This was a key strategic choice for P&G. “Even if we come across an innovation that everyone really likes, we take a long hard look at how it fits with our business strategies. If it does not support or advance where we need our business to go, then we pass,” Weedman said. “We do not try to capture it or the IP simply because we either like it, or don’t want someone else to have it. In fact, if it’s not a fit ...

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