Strategic IP & senior management

http://www.tangible-ip.com/2009/broken-ip-business-structures.htm

The lead link from the Tangible IP blog looks at intellectual property approaches within different organisations structure.  They break down organisations into “personality types” to see how IP issues can (or can’t!) reach CEOs.

From our own experience within the CGIAR we know the amount of senior management attention given to IP issues varies considerably from centre to centre.  The following are indicators we have noted that determine whether or not intellectual property management issues are given senior management time and therefore influence:

1) To whom does the IP Manager/Focal Point report?  How close to the DG are they in the reporting structure?

2) Is the IP contact person a full time IP manager, or an IP focal point? Do IP management responsibilities form part of the person’s ToRs, or performance agreements?

Of course this information alone provides an indication of the attitude the organisation has towards IP.  An IP manager reporting into the DGs office is a strong signal in itself. 

This might all sound obvious, but is nonetheless important to remember.  IP practitioners need to be creative in getting their IP management messages across, especially if organisational structure conditions aren’t favourable!

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One response to “Strategic IP & senior management

  1. Thanks for the link to Tangible IP and for the conversation. I agree that “getting creative” can help get the IP message across. But no matter the type of organisation, if it wants to get serious about using its innovation / intangible assets then it needs to set someone in charge, make it part of their job description, and set some incentives against those goals. Defining the goal is up to the organisation, but I’d suggest that it shouldn’t be just something like (file X number of patents), but rather something more attuned to a defined business need.

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