Thursday, December 23, 2010

IP Audits: Old McDonald has a new farm

I am sure the heading rings a familiar bell in your mind as we all grew up listening to this famous song. But, I am sure all must be wondering what it has got to do with IP Audits which sounds like a technical term and not lyrics of some song.
Well, what I mean here is that in this era, where glamour has also become an innovation-packaging matters. IP Audits is a terms that we keep hearing quite often these days but it’s not at all a new concept and has been there since long. But the form and the terms used to define the process of IP Audits were different. Nowadays it is serving as a preliminary foundation for management of all intangible assets including IP. This is precisely the reason I compared it to old McDonald’s new farm. The assets are still the same, the management tactics are still as dynamic as ever but the now everything is based upon a foundation of a preliminary IP audit. IP Audits around the world are driven by a single motto “If you don’t know it, you can’t handle it”.
My point of weaving the entire story is to point to the fact that IP management is not just handling few IP’s now. It is in fact a very broad spectrum area of research whose horizons have just begun to be explored, and this field offers limitless potential for innovation in itself. In other words management of Innovation has lot of scope for innovation in itself. This statement is enough to imply that scope of innovation cannot be bound by a few words and that it has now become a phenomenon from a process. The wave of IP as a career started about a decade ago and gained momentum in last 3-4 years, but what started as a legal field with technical skill set requirement and gradually moved onto core technical skills with some legal knowledge requirement has now reached its pinnacle with lot of strategic skill requirement with some knowledge of law and technology domains.
Not so long ago was a time wherein latest patent applications were an indicator of the level of knowledge in the respective technology domain, but now they are more perceived as stocks with a possibility of future trading. Even scientific community has started viewing them as future cash-flow statements. This change in attitude set the ball rolling for churning out supporting laws which are in place in some countries and in process in some others. Now another change can be foreseen and this would be recognition of IP management as a separate discipline of management.
This has given rise to the process of IP audits as well, where all intangible IP assets are checked from various angles so that managers can be provided with all the information that can used to generate all required knowledge which in turn can be used for fulfilling various goals and objectives of IP management.
In case you are wondering why this article was devoid of absolutely any kind of technical knowledge then I guess there is an apology due from my side. In this article I tried to explain my perspective of the whole scenario and how I constantly get amazed by the quantity of food for thought this field has to offer. I might not be familiar with all tides and moods of this ocean but what I can see from standing on this shore is a horizon of limitless possibilities which might offer lot of avenues for masters of the seas. 

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