Heard about the patent law suit against Google? The Rockstar Consortium, backed by Microsoft and Apple amongst others, sued a number of companies, including Google, for patent infringement. Yet again patents are back in the limelight. This isn’t something new. Patent lawsuits have become big debate int he United States. Some argue patents are hampering innovation and there are those who argue patents encourage innovation. Regardless of the side you are on it is clear that currently patents have become more and more important in business and especially in the hi-tech industry.
The emphasis on patent filings has been increasing for the past decade. While some companies have always had patent filling as part of their culture others have had to work hard to promote patent thinking amongst employees. At a high level the main actions can be identified as Communicate, Educate, Motivate and Reward. However, each of these stages as within it many different activities and all have to be considered as a part of a whole system. This system also has to be supported by tools that enable successful implementation and achievement of the goals.
No single way is going to succeed every time. Each organization has its own unique intricacies and culture. What is the definitely applicable to all organizations is that protecting your intellectual property and creating intellectual property in general have become both an offensive and defensive business tool.