Intellectual property and R&D teams need to work closer in order to better monetize IP for companies, writes Mythri Kota
High-quality protection of intellectual property (IP) is a crucial factor for companies to succeed in today’s competitive world. IP and intellectual property rights (IPR) such as patents, designs, trade secret rights and copyrights have during recent decades garnered increasing attention, and IP has become an important way to gain a competitive advantage in many industries. This has also led to an increased importance of strategic IP management in organizations.
For example, Hyundai Motors is dealing with the current transformation of the automotive industry by conducting a number of strategic patent-related activities, including registration of new technologies, in order to achieve product and service competitiveness. The company created i-LAB, an internal organization established to lead on patent-related work, in which research and development (R&D) teams, product managers in charge of technology development, IP analysts and attorneys from the IP/legal department all work hand-in-hand towards protecting new technologies. This has helped boost competitiveness at a product and industry level.
At Hyundai, the IP team becomes involved at an early stage in the product development process to support the development of technologies and minimize the risk of patent disputes in future. The IP team provides advice on cross-licensing opportunities, joint ventures and partnerships, M&A and investment opportunities, sharing patented technologies. This synergy between the IP/legal department and the R&D teams has stood out as a key factor for the company’s success and growth.
Another example is Qualcomm, which believes that the drive to invent is a core value of its identity. The protection of inventors’ rights is important to both the company and its business model. Qualcomm has pioneered in achieving tremendous growth developing CDMA (code-division multiple access) wireless communication technology, and licensing those patents to manufacturers. It receives significant revenue from licensing its IP. Qualcomm’s business model relies on sustained investment in R&D to maintain its technological leadership, using profit generated from its patent licensing. IP experts at Qualcomm work jointly with R&D teams to strategize and protect IP cultivated from related activities, optimizing corporate value.