Designing Innovation With IP THINKING™

Designing Innovation With IP THINKING™

The knowledge economy: Innovation

Today, companies must find their new place in the knowledge economy, where innovation consists of making a profit using the resources of knowledge and creativity.

Knowledge and creativity are the evolutionary engines of companies. When you want processes to always work the same, it is necessary that daily activity and work tend to be constant, mechanical, predictable, and linear. However, to change, and to innovate, we need human beings to make use of all their intellectual and creative capacities to make decisions about the new way of managing the organization or generating products and services. Knowledge and creativity are the keys that opens the door to change: innovation is born from people. (Rubio, 2010, p.2). Open innovation implies not only access to numerous independent human resources, accessing the wisdom of the masses (Haller, 2011, p. 103),

The Oslo Manual defines " innovation " as "the introduction of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), a process, a new marketing method or a new organizational method, in internal practices of the company, the organization of the workplace or external relations" (OECD, 2005, p.56).

Innovation implies the invention of new products, processes, and ways of doing things and their introduction to the market or commercialization, diffusion, or adoption (Mohnen and Hall, 2013, p. 2). As the World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO points out, innovation ranges from the idea stage and project formulation to the successful launch of a new or improved product on the market. (Kalanje, 2016, p. 1).

Innovation design can be approached in different ways, usually by applying variants of Cooper's Stage-Gate model, which is characterized by dividing projects into stages separated by decision points that act as gates, in those who make decisions to continue / die. Said model has been reformulated to a hybrid version, incorporating the agile methodology (Cooper, 2016, p. 10) to adapt to the opportunities and challenges of digitization. We can also appreciate full versions of it, usually 5 stages, and shortened versions for smaller, more agile projects.

Intellectual Property in the Innovation framework: IP Thinking™ is born

Intellectual Property has become the main asset of the 21st century. Mark Getty alludes to the enormous importance that oil had in the industrialization of the 20th century and adds: "Intellectual Property is the oil of the 21st century" (WIPO, 2014, p. 14; WIPO, 2009, p. 5).

In today's business world, companies must design their intellectual property strategy in harmony with their business strategy, developing and applying intellectual property management according to their objectives, bearing in mind that intellectual property can be present in everything; the process that can generate value for the company (WIPO, 2014, page 15).

The IP Thinking™ methodology accompanies the innovation processes in their various stages, identifying the aspects of intellectual property relevant to each door, which support and accompany the decisions to continue/die and which will facilitate the realistic definition and achievement of the objectives of protection, monetization, recognition and freedom of use of each project.

IP Thinking™ is the ideal partner for DESIGN THINKING. As a means to overcome the mistakes of the past, when the innovation processes led to the development of a product to which design elements were ultimately added, which led to failure by not satisfying the needs and expectations of the client, Design Thinking proposed incorporating the design based on the user experience from the beginning of the innovation project. In terms of intellectual property, the problem is similar, whereby the innovation processes in their final stage are referred to the intellectual property advisor to obtain the legal, traditional titles of intellectual property; usually patents, and trademark designs. When the advisor issues unfavorable reports, he is seen as responsible for subtracting value or even viability from the project, he could even sometimes be seen by researchers as an uncompromising villain who slows down innovation and demotivates the innovative team. These situations reinforce and perpetuate the behavior. Therefore, the need to understand that Intellectual Property should not be reduced to just a title of right to exclude third parties from the use of it is generated and that is how IP Thinking was born, changing the approach of property intellectual property and turning the intellectual property manager into a manager and ally of innovation, a skilled member of innovation teams.

IP Thinking™, consists of incorporating intellectual property in the design of the strategy and organizational management of companies, from the beginning of a line of business, as well as in innovation, research and commercial projects. In other words, it consists of incorporating intellectual property management as a fundamental and differentiating basis for a company in the market. For this reason, IP Thinking is a work philosophy by which it is accompanied from the beginning of a project to its launch and commercialization, throughout all the stages, achieving optimal protection of the resulting innovations, since they manage to detect intangibles throughout the development of each stage (ideation, product development, launch, etc.), establishes ownership and values ​​contributions, as well as, Intellectual property, broadly understood as "the unique value-added creations of the human intellect, resulting from human ingenuity, creativity, and inventiveness" (Kalanje, 2016, p. 2), must be conceived as a set or package, which addresses various angles of innovation, and is complemented by contractual agreements. Confidentiality, non-disclosure, transfer of rights, collaboration, co-ownership, use, license, and transfer agreements, among others, are contractual aspects that complement and complement intellectual property.

IP Thinking™: innovating in Intellectual Property

Given the nature of the innovative activity that implies high costs of invention, high uncertainty, low marginal costs of reproduction, and significant externalities, the strategic management of innovation generally contemplates the following mechanisms for the capture or appropriation of the value generated by technological innovation: patents, nondisclosure agreements, lead time, complementary assets such as manufacturing, sales, or service capabilities (vertical integration). The effectiveness of each of these appropriation mechanisms depends on the particular characteristics of the technology, such as the general competitive environment, or the need for buyers or suppliers to make substantial investments for specific designs (Chesbrough, H, Vanhaverbeke W, and J WestJ.,2006, p.169).

With the passing of time, we will also see the birth and consolidation of new categories of intellectual property, or related to intellectual property.

Such was the case of Creative Commons, an organization dedicated to breaking down the barriers that prevent people from sharing knowledge, which developed a regulatory framework that makes it easier for people to share and use knowledge and creativity. Without replacing copyright rules, they build on them to establish a set of model agreements, rules of use, and symbols, which make it easier for authors to control their copyright.

So, it is not enough to incorporate intellectual property in the design of innovation, it is necessary to design the intellectual property strategy for each company and project. Innovate the intellectual property strategy. And why not, innovate intellectual property. The great variety of situations that arise in the accelerated pace of innovation that we live in, and the challenges posed by open innovation, cannot be pigeonholed within the limited options and static rules offered by the traditional intellectual property system. The law will adapt to reality, to the protection needs and challenges we face, although such adaptation may take time.

The design of innovation must encompass the relationships between the various actors involved in said process, such as the different areas within the same company, or the relationships with the ecosystem in open innovation processes, in a way that is efficient and At the same time, it provides the recognition and security that foster interactions, especially in cases of open innovation, such as crowdsourcing, co-creation, but also in cases with less external involvement to the company. This leads us to appreciate, promote and extract value from human knowledge and creativity in different ways, cultivating a culture of authentic and own intellectual property.

Therefore, we design the Intellectual Property strategy, without focusing on the object or title of intellectual property, but on the design process, based on the company's reason for being and accompanying the design process of innovation. The objective is not to obtain a patent, trademark or copyright, but rather to design an optimal intellectual property structure for each company's innovation, identifying in advance the risks, internal and external, that could hinder or harm its development processes in the future. innovation, strengthening the key and distinctive elements of the company.

Sometimes these design processes will lead us to propose new categories of rights or new ways to transfer or monetize rights, which we call IP DESIGN . It allows us to see beyond the traditional patent systems to protect inventions, trademarks to distinguish the distinctive signs of a company, copyright on software and creations, among others, and a mix of these. We will have new situations, such as inventions that are the result of the collaboration of many inventors, in different proportions and from different parts of the world. How will we regulate co-ownership? There will be rights arising from the agreement of the parties. How will we efficiently manage these rights? These and many other challenges will be presented along the way.

IP Management: the goal of IP Thinking™

Apple's legal disclaimer reads: "Apple's innovation is embodied in its Intellectual Property." But its products have also impacted the way intellectual property is managed in the music industry, making it possible to download music on-demand, or even enjoy it from the cloud, just as music is consumed today through various applications and virtual shops. In our practice, we frequently see situations in which institutions and companies design their own variants of intellectual property. From an institution that offers the recognition of certain rights on the contributions of project ideas, even when copyrights and patents do not fall on "project ideas", agreements for access to traditional knowledge of indigenous communities.

The management of Intellectual Property is a very complex matter that requires knowledge in the field of intellectual property law, technology, economics and finance, empathy with the organizational culture of the company. Therefore, "Managing" consists of actively reconciling the opportunity with the market context, and allocating resources to achieve a lucrative goal. (WIPO, 2014, page 6)

Going deeper into this reflection, any other management formula that is not based on the search for new combinations could be considered as a mere administration of legal affairs.

Therefore, intellectual property must be involved in innovation processes and we must innovate in the intellectual property structures that we design. IP Thinking must be a tool for innovation, as is the design thinking process, the "lean" methodology, road mapping, or the use of prototypes or minimally viable products. IP Design must be a tool to innovate in the management of the intellectual property.

Intellectual Property was born with the aim of protecting people's innovations, so those of us who work on it should be the first to apply innovation. This means innovating in our own work and becoming managers of innovation.

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