“Getting a Grip on Accounting and Intellectual Property”
Roya Ghafele, Associate Economic Officer, Intellectual Property and Economic Development Department, WIPO
Guidelines for preparing an IP report
- Provide a narrative summary:
– Analyze and explain the basic business model, plan and strategy and show how the IP contributes to the bottom line of your business.
– How do you make money and what role does the IP play in it?
- Relate your income streams to your IP :
– What were the returns from IP-protected business segments?
– How do your trade secrets / patents contribute to the new / improved / superior / better- functionality or features of your services/products as compared with those of your competitors?
– How do/does your trademark(s) contribute to your company’s or your company’s products’ / services’ image, recognition, reputation or branding strategy in the market in developing customer loyalty or attracting new customers?
– Do you use industrial designs to protect the unique look or packaging of your products?
– How do your trade secrets, such as know-how or business ideas, make your company unique?
- Relate the IP to your position in the market:
– Does the ownership of IP help you to gain/secure/improve your market share or profits?
– Are you using IP as an entry barrier to keep competitors out of a particular market?
– Does the IP of your competitors pose a threat to your business?
– Do you have “freedom to operate” in using your own new ideas, concepts, inventions and innovations, without being required to take prior permission (which may involve making a payment) of someone else (say, a competitor) to develop a new/improved product/service or add new features to an existing product/service?
– Does your IP provide you with some form of exclusivity in the market, and, if yes, for how long?
- Demonstrate your managerial skills:
– Are you pursuing a systematic strategy to exploit the commercial benefits of your IP?
– Have you understood how the exploitation of your IP relates to other complementary business assets that may be critically needed?
– How is your R&D focus aligned to your IP strategy and to your commercial goals?
– How do the financial plans for managing your IP relate to your overall financial and business goals?
– How determined are you to extract (further) revenue from your IP?
– What experience do you have in managing IP?
– How are you leveraging your IP to develop new relationships and business partnerships?
- Understand the legal scope of the IP rights :
– What level of practical protection does your IP have in a given business environment?
– Can you operate in the market without infringing the IP rights of other market participants?
– How likely is it that competitors will legally steal your ideas or creative expression or find legitimate ways to circumvent your IP and thereby effectively free ride on your creativity and innovation?
– What is the risk of pirates and/or counterfeiting negatively impacting your market share, and to what extent?