Best laid plans rarely come to fruition without a few bumps along the way and often a rethink or pivot is needed to steer a course towards your goals and the goals of the business.
There are many factors that can affect a business strategy, such as competitor activity, new legislation, or political climate. Opportunities and obstacles are constantly being created and successful businesses adapt.
It’s important that when plans change and the business heads in a different direction, that the IP strategy follows. The IP strategy serves many purposes including ensuring that the direction of travel for a business is safe and risks are identified and mitigated. It also ensures that your hard-won market position and competitive advantage are protected.
Protecting IP can sometimes be slow and is always slower than we’d like, however, that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. An annual audit of your IP and its alignment to your plans for the business can ensure that you continue to use IP to your advantage. It will ensure that the budgeting process is simplified, and that you maximize your return on the money you dedicate to protecting your valuable intellectual property.
In order to be agile, you must be prepared to recognize as soon as possible when your IP is no longer fit for purpose and adapt or pivot, just like you would when you choose to alter your business strategy. Whereas a drop in sales revenue may trigger the need to change the business strategy, the need to change your approach to IP is not necessarily red flagged in the same way. So it is important that you inform your advisors of changes in the overall business strategy and periodically audit your IP and IP processes.
An IP audit will identify risks and provide recommendations on how such risks can be eliminated or mitigated. The audit will also recognize and protect opportunities and direct budget to where it can be used most effectively. An effective audit is based on good communication. The relevant parts of the business must all be on the same page and understand the direction of travel and this needs to be effectively communicated and understood by your IP advisors. Communicating effectively in this way ensures that the various working parts of a business are aligned and problems further down the line are avoided.
The key message is this: take the time to sit down and discuss your plans and make sure they are understood by your advisors. Make sure your advisors challenge your plans and ask the relevant questions.
If you would like to discuss an IP audit, then please do not hesitate to contact us