What role for Intellectual Property in Innovation?

If you want to be part of fast growth businesses, you should have the winning duo be part of your strategy: Intellectual Property & Innovation.


These days companies must face a highly competitive business environment. Most of them agree that some strategies are inevitable if you want to see your business grow.

It is generally accepted that in a knowledge-driven, competitive business environment, innovation is a principal determinant of successful firm performance. A survey by PWC on top 1000 innovators teach us that: Faster growth companies have tighter alignment between their innovation and business strategies and between their culture and their innovation strategy. And it’s all logical when we consider that the aim of most enterprise is to deliver unique new value to its customers, and innovation permits them to bring new or improved products/services on the market.

Easy to say, easy to adopt. But how can a company use this fundamental logical “innovation strategy” and create profits when most of the industry is doing the same?

The key is to managing innovation better than competitors if you wish to survive and thrive in today’s economy. This article will highlight important contributions made by the effective use of the different tools in the IP system to the process of innovation.

Innovation Supported by IP allows you to become fearless about competition.

Competition is often seen as a negative role in innovation. Well, good news, it doesn’t have to be if you learn how to properly use it as a key point in your strategy.

The IP system has a significant role for a business to gain and retain its innovation-based advantage. Through several economic surveys we see that the number of patents owned by an enterprise is a good reflection of innovation intensity of that enterprise and a good measure of output of innovation in industries. It helps highlight the importance of the link between IP and the success of innovation in the marketplace.

Reduce risk for the players involved.

First, protecting your innovation project by reducing risk for the players involved; patents secure transactions between companies and can encourage firms to practice inside-out in case you are looking to create Open innovation. It can also prevent the copy or imitation of a company’s products or services in order to protect your place on the market. And of course, it gives you strength in negotiation for licensing, franchising or other IP-based agreements. Secondly, considering that successful innovation often includes taking a new product to market, we must take in the creation step but also the marketing part of the project where other IP tools like trademarks and industrial designs become very relevant.

Every R&D team should periodically consult several sources of information that would provide input for the success of their project through the right tools available today. That include patent documents, who are a relevant source of information that is often grossly underutilized. The European Patent Office estimates that 70% of the information in patent documents is not available elsewhere, and with more than 800,000 patents granted annually around the globe it’s easy to realize the wealth of these information.


Patent documents give useful information on the state-of the art, which can avoid unnecessary wastage of money and time during the R & D process. In addition, to reduce the high R & D costs it may help your company to “short-circuit” the time to market. Plus, Trade secrets, patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and copyright can allow you to gain competitive advantages if you take the opportunity that offer this type of data. Being informed about your competitors IP can help you to always be one step ahead of the market. Only the unknown areas are scary, by being enlightened you would no longer fear the competition.

In other words: Intellectual property rights can be used effectively to facilitate successful innovation and will assure you to have the leading position in each move you plan.