By Jeff Valley ‑ September 27, 2016
Intellectual property (IP) portfolios are recognised as business assets, making investment in a sophisticated IP strategy and management team worthwhile.
As the value of IP increases, is your IP team performing to its full potential?
Is your department efficient?
Are ideas being generated?
Are these ideas leading to profitable patents?
Measure the performance of your IP team with dedicated metrics to drive business value and align IP processes with industry competitors.
How does your team measure up?
Metrics are leadership tools. By clarifying how success is measured through setting concrete challenges for departments, metrics can help drive business actions. The adoption of metrics also helps in prioritising business goals and identifying issues in IP processes.
Until recently, corporate legal departments had more flexibility in complying with corporate operational and budgetary expectations than other departments. Now, IP teams need to justify their role within a business. To illustrate the value of IP and measure department efficiency, IP metrics assess the performance of IP teams and how they measure up to competition.
There are different types of IP metrics that can provide intelligent insight: bibliographic, operational, business alignment/internal, ratings, financial and strategic alignment/competitive. Common among them, however, is that they all work towards the common goal of streamlining the IP process.
When evaluating the performance of IP departments in business units, there are a number of metrics to consider: number of disclosures, number of filings, number of granted patents, R&D spend per disclosure, attorney to staff support ratio, filings per attorney, IP department costs per filing and more. The data collated from these areas will help businesses understand best practise and motivate more efficient patent management. If an IP team fails to implement a sophisticated IP strategy and management system, portfolios may not be properly prosecuted and business assets will lose significant value.
Metrics are helpful in identifying inadequacies in other business processes. Efficiency can also be measured in trademark management, evaluating number of searches, number of applications, days from filing to registration, filings per attorney, filings per business unit, conflict rate per case and more.
Metrics can even act as milestones for the business. Knowledge of reaching key targets will help businesses to measure the impact of their IP portfolio against the IP of their competitors. For example, in fast-paced areas of technology, such as artificial intelligence, metrics should suggest R&D activity is high. If this is not the case, it is likely the IP department is not functioning at the same pace of competitors and efficiency needs to be addressed.
Industry benchmarks are becoming supported by more reliable underlying data that can be tracked. IP departments can use the data produced through metrics to identify best practise – how is this measured and reported?
Publicly available data – both internal and external - can be fed into CPA Global’s Innography® system. While IP departments will generate metrics, Innography can deduce how impactful an IP portfolio is. This information is best served in a detailed report, or displayed in an IP dashboard system for easy access. To provide further insight CPA Global can produce an Innovation Intelligence report that focuses on a particular area of industry, generating commercial insight and powerful intelligence to help navigate the ever-changing technology ecosystem in which your business operates.
How does your IP measure up?
Businesses should strive for quality over quantity. IP metrics help drive businesses to create a quality portfolio that is managed competitively and efficiently. Through the setting of clear department targets, metrics will evaluate IP teams’ performance, business value and industry position, to provide intelligent insight that helps businesses to progress. To ensure a return on portfolio investment, IP departments need to function efficiently and in line with wider business goals.
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