Why is this topic important to high-growth technology ventures? Because Nest Labs’s demonstrates why active attention and refinement of an IP strategy within high-growth markets is critical: Within the span of four short years a new billion dollar market was born; litigation by a market incumbent was launched to block the first movers from Nest; key IP acquisition and defensive licensing deals were arranged, and fast-followers launched competing products. From the IP-lifecycle perspective, four years is an incredibly short time, often not enough to generate legally enforceable IP protection. As a result even a delay by a few months of IP planning and execution will increase the risk and challenges of an entrant in this new market.
Below is a piece of the introduction, with the full article posted on the Archimedes IP Forum Blog. My thanks to Tom Ewing for both editing my draft, and contributing to the final copy.
Why High Growth Markets need an Evolution in IP Strategies (Part 1):
A successful corporate intellectual property (IP) strategy must account for the pace, style and strategy of key competitors – it is simply not enough to plan and execute an IP strategy based solely on the direction of your business.
This fact of life is especially true for companies operating in high-growth markets where it is even more critical that an evolution and refinement of strategy needs to happen at least on an annual basis if not quarterly or even monthly.
Nest Labs offers a valuable case study on both how and why a strategic IP position needs to shift as competitor’s tactics are unveiled. From Nest’s experiences, we find three fundamental lessons in developing a successful corporate IP strategy:
- IP is the long game, so keep strategic options open.
- Buy vs. Build needs to be in the business planning cycle
- Business Strategy must be integrated with IP Strategy