Technology, government and university leaders need a new understanding of intellectual property. It’s no longer enough to think of Technical IP in isolation. To succeed today, we need to take a broader view in which Marketing IP and Process IP are recognized as intellectual property and, along with Technical IP, are equally valued and integrated within a new IP framework—IP 2.0.
While governments and companies may not have been thinking of IP in this manner, venture capital investors in technology startups and scaleups have been doing so for many years. VCs evaluate a prospective investment using three criteria:
Intellectual Property in the area of technology is comprised of three elements: those technical product features or manufacturing or distribution processes that give the firm a competitive advantage (trade secrets); the features of that competitive advantage that is protected by copyright or patent (patents); and regulatory approvals that the firm has been able to secure.
If Technical IP is table stakes, so is Market IP. Market IP is the knowledge that comes from identifying a large market that is ripe for disruption, understanding the needs of that market, and understanding the competition. Good Technical IP is not enough, one must have Market IP if one is to have a hope of developing a major firm.
When we look at Process IP, we are looking at the team. Do they have the knowledge and experience to take a firm to success? Do they understand the commercialization process? It is often claimed that serial entrepreneurs do better than first timers. However, research has proven this not to be the case. Research from the Centre for European Economic Research looked at 8,400 entrepreneurial ventures in Germany. They determined that “previously successful entrepreneurs were no more likely to succeed in their next venture, and that previously failed founders were more likely to fail than novice entrepreneurs.” So, there may not be Process IP owned by the entrepreneur but there are three forms of Process IP, the ownership of which can accelerate a company’s growth.
The innovation economy has forever altered the way in which companies need to develop intellectual property. To be successful entrepreneurs need to develop plans and strategies, not just for the development of Technical IP but also for the development of Market IP and Process IP. Technical IP is now only table stakes, necessary but not sufficient for success. When married though with Market and Process IP, a firm has the chance to build a highly successful business and potentially dominate world markets.