Patent Monetization: Busting the Myth | Idea = Money

Patent Monetization Busting the Myths

People buy businesses. They don’t buy patents. The news will tell you about the one guy who won the lottery but never about the thousands who bought tickets for nothing. Hollywood will share with you success stories of idea men who sold an idea for millions. Not much is ever said of those whose ideas didn’t convert to big money. Naturally, the notion that most people have is that an idea means money. However, ideas backed by businesses means money. People buy businesses. Thus, patent monetization is synonymous with building a business around it.

Why Patent Monetization?

The most cited example of a company that has aced its patent monetization game is IBM. They make tremendous amounts of money by licensing their patents. In 2019 alone, IBM was estimated to have earned US$367 million in revenue on patent licensing activities. They can do this because they have amassed one of the largest patent portfolios that exist today.

The IBM example is tantalizing as a patent monetization example. But really, how many IBMs can there be? And how many years does it take for a company to get there? 

We know each granted patent costs somewhere between USD 50000 on average and annuities are a further significant expense. As a company, you may choose to monetize your patents by: 

  • Enforcement, or
  • Sale

Is Enforcement Really A Way to Go?

Licensing 

Patent licensing is a form of patent enforcement. Licensing feels like a threat to most companies. This puts companies on the defensive and the instinctive reaction is to countersue. More often than not the licensing approach leads to courts and litigation. Walking down this path means money spent in legal fees, and a possible settlement. And spending money becomes the antithesis to your primary goal of monetization. 

Patent Monetisation: Is Enforcement Really A Way To Go?

A lot of companies shy away from monetization by licensing because of the risk of a countersuit.

Reduce The Risk Of Countersuit While Licensing

Here are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of countersuit while licensing.

  • Use patents from nascent areas within your corporation
  • Roll patents into your Business Sale Package

Use Patents from Nascent Areas Within your Corporation

A nascent area is one where

  • You no longer practice
  • You no longer sell products, or
  • The division is shut down 

but you still have existing patents.

Licensing is a great approach to monetization in nascent areas because it nullifies your risk of litigation. With no products backing your patents, businesses are more likely to invest and less likely to sue. And even if there is a chance of a lawsuit, you have nothing to lose because you no longer sell the products in these areas.

Roll Patents Into Your Business Sale Package

Every business is built for sale; it depends on what’s the price the buyer is willing to pay. Whether your business is booming or you are looking to shut it, roll your patents into the business package when you sell it. This also holds true for a single factory or product line. This will boost the chances of the sale of your business and meet your goals of monetization. 

Investors find it easier to comprehend the purchase of a business that has a potential revenue stream. Patents in the business are a great lure for potential investors. 

Patent Monetization by Sale | Be Strategic, It’s Arduous

Sale is less threatening when compared to licensing a patent or patents. Enforcing a patent comes with its set of challenges – more often than not, lawsuits. Sale, on the other hand, is a clean cut that comes with no risk. 

But where does one sell a patent and for how much? Who buys them and what is its marketplace?

There’s good news and there’s bad news. Let’s give you the bad news first: 

There was a time, not too long ago that patent portfolios were bought and sold with 7 figure transactions. Those times have now changed. Today, these figures have dropped to 5 figure transactions, on a good day.

The good news is patents are for businesses. And people buy businesses. Patents can still be bought and sold today, just not how they used to be earlier. Today, patents and businesses are a package deal. And you can sell these anywhere you like, but the legal department is not the best place to go.

There are circumstances where you will be able to sell a patent without a business. However, these circumstances are rare. In 2012, Yahoo sued Facebook for infringing a bunch of their patents relating advertising, privacy, customization, messaging and social networking. Facebook countersued Yahoo with specific patents, most of which they acquired, almost overnight. It usually is only circumstances such as these where businesses are willing to buy just patents. And waiting for these chances to come by is like waiting for a month of Sundays. 

The best and probably the only effective way to monetize a patent is to build a business around it. When you are selling just a patent, you are selling a right around an idea for a business. People aren’t used to buying that. When you back your patent with a product and a business though, everything changes. 

Patents are easier to monetize when bundled with a business

Selling To A Business

As a thumb rule, unless circumstances are exceptional, selling a single patent is impossible. Patents are best sold as families. So, who do you approach when you are looking to sell a patent portfolio? It’s best to take a patent portfolio to a business development team in an organisation. Our advice would be to prefer the businessmen over the lawyers. Lawyers are wired to deflect risk. Businessmen, they enjoy risk and innovation. 

Patent Brokerage

There are a bunch of patent brokerage firms. These work through patent brokers who represent patent buyers and sellers by serving as intermediaries to facilitate patent sales. They help throughout the process of patent transactions including the initial identification of suitable patent assets to sell, selection of sellers, screening of patents and identification of important patents and claims.

However, the brokers do not show any interest in single patent deals. They prefer selling patent portfolios altogether so that they can make a decent amount of money in the brokerage.

Let’s Sum It Up

Patent monetization is a tantalizing prospect. Reading stories of companies that have made millions from patent sales is exciting, hopeful and tempting. But like most things, there’s a lot more to those big numbers than meets the eye. As someone who is looking to monetize their patents, it is important to be fully aware of the challenges that you may face. Here are some pointers and reminders for you.

  1. In the traditional sense, patent monetization requires you to have a large patent portfolio. This may take years to build and a considerable amount of resources to maintain. As a large company with resources, this may be an option. Be reminded though, that you are looking at a long timeline here. 
  2. You can choose to go down the enforcement route when monetizing. This means you can license your patents to businesses in the marketplace. Licensing can backfire with a countersuit as a consequence. Be mindful when going down this route. Choose strategically – patents from nascent areas or inactive areas in your business. 
  3. When looking to sell, remember – patents without businesses have little to no value. If you are looking to monetize your patents, build a business around them. You can choose to sell them at any stage this way. Either as a fledgling business or as a spin out. 
  4. The business development teams in organizations are your go-to people for sales. Avoid sales through the legal team because they will be more likely to avert risk rather than take it. 
  5. When looking to sell patents, look to sell in bulk. Sell your patents as a family. As a general rule, patents don’t sell in isolation. You can choose to make sales to business directly or through patent brokers or marketplaces. 

In summary, monetizing patents is not an easy task. There are costs involved through the process of monetization as well. However, if you have a good strategy in place, transactions can be very fruitful. Thumb rule: Selling patents with businesses will be a win-win situation for all concerned. 

Innovation Management Software | Ideas To Patents

Innovation Management Software Triangle IP

A winning innovation management software for your journey from ideas to patents!

The 50 Most Innovative Companies Of 2020

As per a research conducted by BCG (Boston Consulting Group), listed below are 50 most innovative companies of 2020. 

50 Most Innovative Companies list

Do you aspire to see your company make it to this prestigious list of most innovative companies? 

One of the criteria for ranking the above listed companies was the innovation management systems used by these companies. What were these systems that set them apart? Let’s find out.

Designing A Winning Innovation System

As per the BCG report the leading innovators pay a lot of importance to following five things:

  • Talent
  • Ambition
  • Governance
  • Innovation Funnel management
  • Project management

Portfolio Mindset: 

Leaders pay close attention to the shape and quality of their innovation funnel—and the processes to manage it. 

Leaders tend to have broader funnels. This is to increase their capacity to generate more potentially valuable ideas. This also allows them to invest in their best ideas as scalable products or services. 

Innovation funnel management comes down to:

1. The quality of decision making in a few critical go or no-go decisions. 

2. The ability to take both a project and a portfolio perspective at the same time. 

Winners take better decisions by establishing a set of tools and criteria to make the right call. Additionally, leaders find the ideal balance between hands-off and hands-on involvement. They set the right incentives to encourage innovation. 

Also, leaders continually analyze to make sure that they learn from their mistakes. The best innovators don’t do this only for failed projects. They also review funding decisions that look like false positives or false negatives. This ensures better-quality decision making going forward.

From Ideas & Innovations To Patents

“Each production is an idea that grows and gathers other ideas until the final event (read patent). The management of this creative process is the challenge.” – Don Mischer 

Every project starts in someone’s mind before it begins a complex path. Most ideas do not survive the journey. They die because the person who thought of the idea fails to properly capture it. Without these ideas finding a place in a system to study, analyse and vet, they are mostly forgotten and ultimately shelved in a hidden recess of the mind of the thinker. Ideas have the potential to be your biggest assets. When an enterprise invests in human resources to find the best it is largely for their minds and their promising ideas. 


Source: giphy.com

With great ideas, comes great responsibility! 

The more the ideas, the more difficult they become to capture and catalog. With improper cataloging and idea storage systems, path altering ideas are sometimes lost at the bottom of the pile. If IP creation is a goal, these ingenious innovations need systematic management to convert them into IP. 

And what helps is a good innovation management software

In this article, we share with you

  • how to determine if your organization needs an innovation management software
  • the informal ways in which you can catalog your ideas with its pros and cons
  • why you should use an innovation capture program 
  • how your company and employees will benefit from well-cataloged ideas
  • how TIP Innovation Management Tool can help you take the first step towards winning innovation system

Do You Need An Innovation Management Software?

Here are two factors to consider before you decide to invest in an innovation management program:

1. The size and structure of your company

2. The inclination of your company towards innovation

If you are a small enterprise that is not innovation-driven, an informal system to catalog your ideas may work for you. Here are some ways to develop that system for your enterprise:

  • Capturing ideas on an idea capture form that is made available on your company’s intranet
  • Training programs conducted from time to time to explain the process
  • Creation of bonus programs to incentivize innovation
  • Tracking of ideas through a spreadsheet or database

If you are an innovation-driven enterprise, you may find the need for a more formal structure to capture ideas. Here are some markers to help you decide: 

  • Filing more than a few patents each year?
  • Is your company large? Is innovation happening in different areas?
  • Are you working towards strategic intellectual property creation?
  • Is it too difficult for one person to manage all these ideas?
  • Have you set monthly/quarterly/yearly goals for patent filings? Or do you wish to?

Why Use A Tool For Ideation Cataloging?

An innovation management tool records all your ideas in one place. Not only does this serve as a centralized repository for the company, but it also provides transparent access to all to spur complementary innovation.

 Source: giphy.com

A good tool is a companion through the entire innovation management process. We, the human race, are very visual. A platform that provides clearly viewable ideas, and allows one to quickly recognize the precise stage in the pipeline is a great tool. Not only does it encourage innovation in the organization, but it also provides an opportunity to transparently assess the idea from various perspectives including assessing the prospect for an issued patent, alignment with business strategy, feasibility, etc. 

Innovation Management Software | Internal Vetting

Innovation Management Software For Charting Growth Trends 

Also, with all ideas in one place, it is easier to strategize. Charting a course for your company and the direction you wish to grow it in becomes clearer. A good innovation management software will give you access to all your ideas at a glance. Now, instead of rummaging documents and notes, you have them all in one place. Whether you are a large company or a start-up looking to grow/build a patent portfolio, the right tool will empower that process. With all your ideas organized and transparently shared in a pipeline of stages, legal coordination and management are easy. 

How An Innovation Management Software Builds Workplace Idea Fertility

“Innovative enterprises often see their patentable ideas inadvertently ceded to the public domain unless there are business processes and capture systems in place.”Thomas Franklin, Founder @ Triangle IP.

Innovation quote by founder of Triangle IP - Thomas Franklin

Another advantage of using a tool is that it creates the right environment to promote innovation. Not only is ideation with a tool time-effective, it is also resource-effective. With all ideas being freely available, there will be less duplication of ideas and a faster timeline for development.  Also, this brings people from different parts of the company together to leverage each other’s innovation. Synergy happens between employees when working on similar ideas from different perspectives. This cross-pollination leads to more brilliance! Two heads are always better than one. 

Source: giphy.com

Ford launched a program within the company to encourage innovation a few years ago. In the words of the Ford Global Technologies chief executive Bill Coughlin, “We weren’t targeting just an increase in inventions, we were targeting an increase in Ford inventors. Once you start thinking like an inventor, you cannot turn that off. Problems become opportunities, and it’s a fun game that you can play in your mind on how to solve this in a new and different way.” In 2016, Ford employees submitted over 8,000 ideas for patents within the company. To deal with the numbers, Ford had to come up with an internal vetting and quality assurance process for which they set up a panel for internal review and even roped in external counsel. Without an internal review system, the innovation program would have been a complete failure

The Innovation Management Software from Triangle IP

The Triangle IP Innovation Capture Tool (“TIP Tool”) is an intuitive drag-and-drop tool to take control of your patent mining and capture process.

We believe that innovation needs management like any other company asset. Enterprises often overlook effective idea management. But the TIP Tool simplifies the process, as easy as A-B-C! The tool gives you the most straightforward single-page view into a patent capture program for your company – the complete innovation management pipeline. 

The TIP Tool has been developed with years of algorithm research directed by thought leaders having a half-century of experience in intellectual capital management. Four patents have already been awarded to Triangle IP on data science to provide clear analytics with many more in progress while using the same TIP Tool freely available to any enterprise.

Not only is this tool user friendly, but it also provides a four-stage pipeline with visual tracking of the mined ideas through to their filing as a patent:

Idea Capture / Mining

The Idea Capture Form (IDF) is designed for the inventors, in particular. Intuitive and easy to fill, this form has fields ideal for those who come up with new ideas. The simple form is designed to capture your ideas while avoiding confusing questions and complexity. 

Once the IDF is filled in and saved, it displays a  summary of the idea, key contacts, and any attachments. A manager may be assigned to the idea who can help in reviewing and refining the idea to take it to the next stage. The tool also allows any inventor to edit or embellish the idea at any time by accessing the saved form.  Inventors will collaborate virtually to add sufficient detail to the IDF.

Like the innovation at your company, the TIP tool is constantly evolving too! We have three exciting new features to make idea logging easier and more fulfilling. The TIP tool also plans to provide the users the capability to customize its already-friendly IDF to add customized fields to support your internal process. And you don’t have to worry about remembering to save your additions to the form each time. The TIP tool does it for you. It even gives you the option to upload drafts and images separately for easy distinction and access. Want contributions to your ideas from someone specific in your organization? TIP tool plans to provide the capability to the users to add comments as ideas and notes within the form and also tag specific people within your organization for their inputs. 

Innovation Management Software | Idea Capture Form

Internal Vetting

Once ideas are captured using the IDF, they are selectively moved to the internal vetting stage. During this stage in the TIP Tool, these ideas become open to input from a patent committee or other decision makers. With persons from different parts of the organization viewing an idea, it becomes easy to vet the same from different perspectives. For example, the R&D team can suggest refinement over an idea, the finance team could give its perspective on how financially viable this idea could be for the company, the marketing team could study the demand for the potential product in the market.  This is the point at which the IP counsel or the legal team also steps in to give its inputs on whether the idea is a good candidate for patenting. Patentability searches at this stage will save resources for the company too. 

Patent Drafting

Once an idea is vetted to qualify for patent drafting, it is moved to the next phase. For a patent to be successful, it must have the idea fully captured in the application. For this, the input of the inventor is essential through the drafting process, or at the very least during the review of the draft. The TIP Tool provides for the details of the prosecutor assigned to draft a patent application for the idea. This allows for the prosecutor and the inventor to be connected through the process with all ideas including underlying ideas made available in one place through the tool. The TIP Tool allows exchanging drafts securely while avoiding email.

Patent Filing

Once the patent application has been drafted and approved, the TIP Tool even provides for a section that sets out all the patents that have been filed. It allows all interested parties to have access to the application after filing.

Patent Portfolio Management

The TIP tool also allows the company to manage its patent portfolio from within the tool. Details of filing dates, office actions, renewal dates etc. are all made available on the tool which will make it easy for the internal legal team to liaison with its external patent attorney. (This feature of the tool is currently a work-in-progress, stay tuned!)

Here is a video showing the complete workflow process:

Additional Key Features Of The TIP Tool

Years of research and the best minds have created this tool to simplify and energize the innovation process in your organization. Here’s a quick look at some of the features that make this tool the best in the business:

  • It allows you to define user roles for the people in your organization and gives access to different areas of the tool based on the roles assigned.
  • It details the ideas that have been approved within the company in a separate space and even allows you to lock them for an additional layer of security.
  • If you think ideas, when merged, will make for stronger patents and/or better products, it allows you to create a filing with any number of ideas. Also, the same idea can be included in multiple filings.
  • All ideas can be scored on different parameters in the tool. Use these scores to prioritize and rank the patentability of each idea. 
  • This tool understands that passwords are hard to remember for SaaS tools. Use the magic link login which comes straight to your inbox, and don’t worry about having to remember the password again! 
  • If you think an idea doesn’t suit the market you are currently targeting or the needs of the company at the moment, or if the idea doesn’t score too highly, the tool allows you to archive it for later consideration.
  • The tool understands the importance of having a system of organization. So it provides you with the option to tag, group, and filter ideas.
Innovation Management Software | Key Features | TIP Tool by TriangleIP

Let’s Sum It Up

Economists estimate that innovation in its various forms accounts for 30 percent to 40 percent of the gains in growth and productivity by the American economy during the 20th century, more than any other factor. Moreover, in recent years, the pace of innovation and its impact have increased. The successful capture of innovations does not occur by chance; rather, it requires a well designed capture process. As evidenced earlier, innovation management is just as important if not more important than generation of new ideas.

With these fantastic features, the TIP Tool by Triangle IP is the best in the business. The TIP tool is available as a demo version that gives you some pre-populated data that helps you explore the tool and understand its features for a month. After the passage of 30 days, you can enjoy a completely free version of the TIP Tool for free by registering with your email address. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get on the TIP bandwagon and make innovation capture happen! 

If you like this article, join us where we share patent information that matters to you. Don’t worry, we only send emails that we feel are highly relevant for you. 🙂

How To Seek Investment Using Patents?

Seeking Investment using Patents Triangle IP

Seeking investment using patents? Is a patent enough?

Seeking Investment Using Patent, Look for Strategic Partner

Myth: Having a patent is enough to seek investment!

The Hard Truth: Sorry to break this to you but a patent alone cannot get you an investment. In the absence of a proven business, it does not make sense for the investor to risk his money.

When you seek investment the most common questions asked by a probable investor are:

  • What are your sales?
  • How much does it cost you to make that product?
  • What are your margins?
  • Is your product unique? Do you have a patent?
  • Why do you need the money?

The purpose of all these questions is to find out if their investment can earn them good returns or not.

If you have a revenue stream that can show sales, it’s really easy for investors to value a business. It’s just a function of some sort of multiple on earnings or some sort of anticipated growth in the market. Most investors are very well equipped to understand something like that.

But, when you don’t have a prototype, sales or anything like that and you simply have a patent seeking investment, it is a much more difficult task. Because a patent is only the right to exclude somebody from doing what’s covered in the patent. You have to convince somebody that doing it perhaps exclusively has value and because the patent has so much value that even licensing the patent shall fetch them a good amount of money.

Seeking Investment Using Patents | Look for Strategic Partner

Seeking Investment Using Patents | Look For A Strategic Partner

When you only have a patent, what you need is a strategic partner not an investor. Your strategic partner is a business which gets into an agreement with you where they are as much a partner to you as they are an investor. The usual investor is only interested in profits whereas a strategic partner will help manufacture products based on your patent.

Seeking Investment Using Patents | Look for Strategic Partner

Side Note | Investment Using Patents

In this article, we have only covered the strategic partnership for seeking investment using patents. There are other ways of monetizing a patent like selling the complete patent or mortgaging it with the bank etc. We shall be covering these and more such ways for seeking investments using patents in the series of articles about patent monetization. Shall you be interested in learning more about patent monetization, kindly fill the form below!

Steps To Find The Strategic Partner

  1. List down the companies that manufacture products in the space you have the patent in.
  2. Study these companies to find out:
    1. Which of these would be interested in having the next new feature in their product?
    2. Which of these companies is looking to differentiate itself from the competitors?
    3. Is there any company that is in the tight position that hasn’t had a good technology in a while?
    4. Which of these companies is an established player that always wants to stay on the top?
    5. There also is a possibility to find a supplier to the company that manufactures these products and might be interested in your idea.
  3. Select 2-3 companies from this list and propose the partnership to them to progress further.

Finding the information mentioned above is a difficult task and IP research firms shall be your best choice to help here.

IP Research Firm To Your Rescue

Curating the list of probable strategic partners shall require IP expertise. Best would be to hire an IP research firm

Here’s what IP firms shall do: 

  1. The IP research firm will try to understand your motivations behind creating the patent to familiarize themselves with your invention.
  2. The IP research firm shall then study the market players in the domain of your patent. By study we mean their product lines, patent portfolios, competitors, financial standing etc.
  3. Not just curating the list of strategic partners, the IP firm will be able to position your patent in such a way that prospective partners can identify its value. 

Impediment for Strategic Partner

“To invest into something that doesn’t exist is expensive.”

However, there is a way to justify this expense – ‘Exclusivity’.

Let’s take a look at the timeline below to understand this better.

Seeking Investment Using Patents | Offer Exclusivity To Strategic Partner

Once you get into a strategic partnership the partner shall help you with the development of the product. The average time for a patent to be developed into a product is around 18 months. That’s a conservative estimate. After the product is ready, the strategic partner should have unbridled access or exclusivity rights to sell the product for at least 2 years. Once the 2-year period is over, it is expected for the product to have broader demand and more competitors wanting a piece of it. 

After the period of exclusivity rights for the strategic partner is over, you can increase the exclusivity period by taking a fee. Or you can license the product and earn royalty. 

Reduce The Risk For The Strategic Partner

Having a patent is good, gradually you should progress on a path that minimizes the risk for probable partner or investor to venture in your idea. By progressing through each step from patent, to prototype, to beta-testing, to product, to sales you are minimizing the investment risk. Once you manage to get good sales, you shall need the investment to scale. And that shall be comparatively easier to get.

Conclusion:

If you have a patent and not a proven market for your product; seeking investment using patents becomes a herculean task. The best option is to look for a strategic partner. A partner who is in the same product line and can help you manufacture your product. At the same time, you need to convince that strategic partner that it shall also benefit hugely in this venture.

For finding and convincing a strategic partner, you shall need help from an IP research firm. The research firm shall create a report showing the unique value proposition of your patent. The firm shall also curate a list of probable strategic partners. You can select 2-3 from the list to work out the strategic partnership.  Offer exclusivity to convince for partnership.

While looking for a partner, keep progressing to minimize the investment risk; patent -> prototype -> beta-testing -> product-to-market -> sales.

With this we wish you all the very best to find the right partner!

Want to know more about IP Strategy?

6 Ways to Strengthen Your Patent Portfolio

6 Ways to Strengthen Your Patent Portfolio

The other day I was speaking to a portfolio manager at a large enterprise.  He was given a task to enhance the patent portfolio for the company. My first question to him was about the process of capturing ideas from inventors.

Me: “How do you capture the ideas and collaborate over the ideas to transform them into valuable IP?”

He: “We conduct certain brainstorming sessions, capture ideas in excel sheets and pursue as and when we feel a need for the same.”

In my experience of working for over 20 years with so many enterprises, the scenario is pretty much the same. Most enterprises use excel sheets, emails, docketing softwares (that’s like giving a factory when all that’s needed is a simple machine), or some other make-do softwares to capture ideas.

You Might Wonder What’s Wrong With Using Such Tools?

Well, in the absence of easy capturing and thorough vetting, a lot of things may happen which hurt the value of a patent portfolio.

  • Great ideas get lost while traveling amongst various stakeholders.
  • Weak ideas get pursued for filing a patent resulting in either a rejected patent or a low-value patent.
  • Filed/Granted patents are sometimes great in terms of innovation but do not have a market demand as the business team did not collaborate while persuasion.
  • Effort gets wasted on an idea which the company has already filed a patent on in the past by some other inventor.
  • Sometimes inventors get so busy with the progress of the invention that the idea gets completely missed out of the patenting process. Even worse, the product reaches the market without IP protection. And, competitors take full advantage of it.

Hence what’s needed is a defined process to capture ideas. A way to collaborate over ideas to conduct thorough internal vetting. A place where all the stakeholders from different arenas of a business and research can contribute. Thus making sure that only the finest ideas are pursued for filing patents. 

Strengthen Your Patent Portfolio Proactively

Strengthen Your Patent Portfolio Proactively

Besides this, a strong culture of innovation at the workplace and a time-to-time audit of the portfolio shall also be beneficial towards a valuable patent portfolio.

Here are 6 quick pointers that can help you strengthen your patent portfolio:

1./Effective Innovation Capturing

2. Thorough Vetting

3. Curating An Innovation Driven Culture

4. Getting Patent Experts Onboard

5. Pruning To Strengthen Your Patent Portfolio

6. Expediting Patenting Process

#1 Effective Innovation Capturing

It all starts with an idea. So, the inventor comes up with an idea. Maybe he shares the idea with you, maybe he does not. Maybe you review or maybe it gets slipped as you were too busy. And the inventor gets busy working on that idea totally forgetting about the protection it might need. Whether patent or trade secret or defensive publication. 

Now the product that gets created based on the inventor’s idea is revolutionary. And it reaches the public domain without any IP protection. It’s under the threat of fast followers. Companies out there who have resources and capital are always on a look for products which they can easily copy and sell for a lower cost. These guys also save on money that you spend on R&D and engineering of the product. Thus, grabbing the market share that your company deserved actually.

And the worst part is you cannot do anything about it. 

This necessitates to have a defined place to capture innovations and track their progress throughout the lifecycle.

Another thing that acts as a friction for inventors to disclose inventions and add them in the patent pipeline is: “long, non-intuitive invention disclosure forms with jargons that only attorneys understand”. At TriangleIP, we understand this friction and thus we have kept the idea capture form very simple in the TIP tool.  

An Easy Idea Form For Inventors | Strengthen Your Patent Portfolio

#2 Thorough Vetting

If you have a bunch of ideas coming in from different inventors; it’s very much possible that you might not have a budget to pursue them all for IP protection. So in order to choose which ideas to pursue, the ideas need to get evaluated from different aspects. You might wish to keep some ideas as trade secrets or give some to public domain with patent protection. Hence what’s needed here is a thorough vetting of ideas.

Thorough Internal vetting of Ideas | Strengthen Your Patent Portfolio

Innovation happens quite early in a process. Typically before you have any customer or market validation. Hence all that can be done is speculation on which ideas will generate revenue a few years down the line. It takes around 3-5 years to get patent protection for an invention.

However, one thing that helps you mitigate the risk and choose the best of ideas is to have it vetted by people from different streams; business, legal, engineering, strategy, etc.

Listed below are some important factors to consider to zero down on the ideas for patenting:

  • Strategic vision of the enterprise.
    • Alignment with a product line to have market dominance. 
      • Say there is a company that deals in smart refrigerators. It would want to have patents around advanced functions of refrigerator like: Ordering groceries based on the supplements about to finish in the refrigerator.
    • Market expansion across geographies.
    • Just for defensive purposes against probable lawsuits.
  • Relevance of technology to be patented in long term. Technologies go out of date as industries evolve. 
    • Example: Mobile phones have almost out-dated the landline phones in the last few years.  
  • Budget allocated towards IP.

#3 Curating An Innovation-Driven Work Culture.

“When failure is not an option, we can forget about creativity, learning and innovation. – Brene Brown”

Embracing failure is the key to have an innovation driven culture. Because the studies suggest that a significant percentage of innovations fail. The companies must have enough risk appetite (financially) to handle the failures. (Because somewhere there are chances of blockbuster success too).

And that’s not all, there are many other factors that can encourage or kill innovation culture at an enterprise.

The other day I was reading a book called “The Invincible Company” and in that, I came across a beautiful concept called “The Culture Map”. The culture map talked about the Enablers and Blockers of innovation at a company. It resonated really well with me. 

Innovation Culture Blockers:

  1. Lack of Innovation Strategy.
  2. General Fear of Failure.
  3. Bureaucracy slowing down innovation.
  4. Locked into Current Business Model.
  5. Lack of skills, knowledge and experience.

Innovation Culture Blockers | Strengthen Your Patent Portfolio

Innovation Culture Enablers

  1. Strategic guidance.
  2. Resource allocation.
  3. Innovation Tools.
  4. Legitimacy and Power.
  5. Skills development.

Innovation Culture Enablers | Strengthen Your Patent Portfolio

It would be beneficial to take a quick look inside your organization for these enablers and blockers. This shall further be helpful in creating an environment where innovation shall flourish for the organizational good.

#4 Getting Patent Experts Onboard:

Lack of expertise in drafting patents may result in rejection. Mentioned below are some of the top reasons for rejection of patent applications:

  • Improper and Insufficient description of the invention and how it works.
  • Lack of novelty.
  • Non-patentable subject matter; e.g. new use of a known substance.
  • Erroneous Writing: Issues with line numbers, reference numbers on drawings, or paragraph numbers.

If you don’t have in-house experts to write the patent, we suggest that you choose an IP firm that has the reputation and the experience to handle the end-to-end process. You need to have the right people on the job to draft the patent. Ensure that the one who is writing the patent has deep knowledge of the technology, has the right background, understands the fundamentals of a patent, and so on. 

#5 Pruning Patent Portfolio | Abandoning ‘Out-of-Date’ Patents

Let’s say you have a portfolio of many patents (50 or more), only a few of them would be worth a lot. The rest will guzzle your time, effort and money.

Maintenance fee alone can become a significant expense if there are many patents in a portfolio and for quite a long time. The snapshot below  shows the maintenance fee to be paid for patents at different time intervals.

Maintenance Fee USPTO| Patent Pruning | Strengthen Your Patent Portfolio | Abandoning Out-of-date Patents

The ability to know when to stop investing in bad IP assets is important to have a strong patent portfolio.

If you look carefully in your portfolio, you will find that there are patents that are areas in orphaned technology or where there is no commercial interest. Free up the budget allocated for it to work on an innovation that is more promising. A technology that was once highly used does not mean it is going to be relevant forever. Some of the patents might have run their utility. 

Let’s take a look at how IBM has pruned it’s patent portfolio over the last 2 decades. IBM has abandoned thousands of patents across T0, T1 and T2. This probably saved them millions of dollars and strengthened the patent portfolio.

IBM US Abandoned Patents by Pruning 1999-2020 | Strengthen Your Patent Portfolio

There can be many reasons for abandoning the patents:

We, at Triangle IP, are on the way to bring analytics to the TIP tool  that shall help the users identify hopelessly expensive cases.

  • Out-of-date technology as the industry evolved over the years.
  • Change in patent laws in different geographies.
  • No market presence, say you got patents in the UK but the business related to those patents never really took off in the UK. So, maintaining those patents does not make sense.

#6 Expediting the patenting process to be at the right time in the market.

There was a time when it took more than three to five years to get your patent up and running. Thankfully, that’s not the case anymore as you can easily get an expedited patent for a few thousand dollars in the US. While it might sound like a big number for a new startup, if it means that you can build your portfolio quicker, then it is wise to get that leverage for yourself. 

You can also watch this video by our co-founder where he explain portfolio management in a greater detail:

To Sum It Up:

Here is a quick recap of the pointers that shall help you progress towards a strong patent portfolio.

1..A well-defined business process to capture ideas and progress them to valuable IP (Intellectual Property). 

2. The process must provide for thorough vetting from strategy, market, legal, feasibility, financial aspects.

3. Curating an innovation culture by removing the blockers and supporting the enablers shall help your people to come up with more valuable inventions.

4. Ensure that your patent applications do not fall in the rejection bucket by hiring experts to write your patent applications.

5. Time-to-time pruning of the patent portfolio i.e. abandoning the patents (due for renewal) can help you strengthen the patent portfolio.

6. Expediting the patenting process for a few thousand dollars shall be a good tradeoff to be at the right place at the right time.

3 Ingredients of High-Quality Patent Application

Understanding and decoding a patent can feel like reading a foreign language. Patent claims are littered with legalese and hard to parse. We might rely on recommendations or go to an established firm to get a patent drafted. Sometimes, the tendency is also to get it done as inexpensively as possible.

However, when you can’t judge the quality, then you can’t make a sure decision. So, differentiating a good quality patent from a not so good quality patent may seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips and tricks that make this easy.

There are three ingredients of a high-quality patent application you must look for:

1. Substantive coverage

2. Simple language without ambiguity

3. Technical details: Visuals, Citations, and References

Substantive Coverage

Contrary to popular belief, in a patent application, less is not more. A detailed description of the invention along with alternative solutions is essential to ensure broad coverage. 

Good patents tend not to be short. A short patent may have 4-5 figures and are very high level. They have very little detail in them. A really good patent would have about 10-15 figures correspondingly with detail that can be added to the claims if needed. Hence, when you get a draft back, check whether it is 3 pages long or 15 pages long. Generally, the more said about the innovation, the more likely you are going to get a better coverage.  Description of alternative solutions to the underlying problem will allow claiming those later as your competition tries to design around your roadblocks.

Claims are a very important part of a patent application. It’s quite debatable on what the claims should look like. A long book could be written on the topic and still would not make things easier. As a broad rule a high-quality patent application must have claims directed to how your innovation uniquely solves the underlying problem that originally motivated the invention. Dependent claims can add details as possible fallback positions. 

However there are few red flags you can look for while evaluating the claims:

  • Claims should be written in such a way that others cannot design around that would create legal gaps.
  • Too narrow claims reduce infringement opportunities, but if they are too broad it is unlikely that they would be allowed.
  • Technology covered in claims must be relevant 10-15 years down the line as the industry evolves.

Substantive Coverage Example: Techniques In Transit Advertising

Let’s take a look at the claims of this high-quality  patent application on “Techniques in Transit Advertising” for example. It has 3 independent and 13 dependent claims with 26 figures.

In summary the patent is for a method to generate a request for an advertisement based on an identified ridership pattern of a user of a transit system:

Let’s take a look at claims.

The illustration above is from the patent AU2013262776B2 picked up using Google Patents Database.

Let’s take a look at the coverage of this claim:

  1. The claim talks about retrieving information to find the advertising preference for the rider of the transit system to tailor the experience.
  2. It also talks about the kind of information that shall be retrieved: entry point, exit point, duration of transit, time and location of plurality of such transactions so that the advertising is location relevant.
  3. The claim also covers the places for displaying the advertisement like faregates, kiosks, countertops, etc. for the rider.

Going through the complete claims set of this patent, gives a good idea of what claims should look like. The other claims cover a lot of possibilities around the invention like merchant proximity, information that can be displayed other than advertisements, type of media (machine readable) etc. to provide further detail and fallback positions.

The Heart Of The Invention

Once you have a draft patent application, the inventor(s) should read it critically. Has the draft properly detailed the heart of the invention (i.e., the key differentiator that enables your invention). Is the heart of the invention only mentioned in a cursory manner? Or, is it filled with creative detail and alternatives? Reading of the draft should surprise the inventor with its thoroughness and detail. This goes to show how much thinking has gone into describing the invention. Remember, the patent application is not a marketing tool. It doesn’t need to be flashy with marketing language. The purpose of a patent application is to get the patent granted. And for that, the application must be detailed and thorough. Failure to disclose the details of the invention amounts to a failure to describe how the inventor was in the possession of the claimed invention.

The patent office requires the inner workings and technical detail on how the heart or the core of the invention works.  It should provide the detail to allow another to make and use the invention.  The drafter should go in much deeper detail even if the product has not been built.

You should see that detail in the draft.

Think about what the most important technological thing is. For one, it should be captured in the claim. Because it is hard to parse the claims, ask the drafter, where it is mentioned in the claims. Then work your way back and see how much writing is there about that. A good patent application should have at least 2-3 pages of the core of the invention i.e. selling point of the innovation. 

Scope of Application

Does the draft speak to what is unique about that invention and define its scope too?

In addition to the uniqueness of the invention, the application must also have a wide scope to enable others to understand how it might be built. Ensure that it covers the existing and future scope of innovation as far out into the future as you might imagine. 

Simple Language

High-quality patent specifications are written in unambiguous language to be easily understood. The simple language also ensures that the ideas are not lost in translation.

This means the application must read like something familiar to you or any other similarly trained engineer, developer or scientist. If vague or confusing, it leads to potential attack down the road. If only the claims could be written to avoid the legalese, but the precision of their meaning requires the use of language that the courts have defined in their legal decisions.

Technical Details

A long, thoroughly drafted specification with thorough technical detail must have 

  • Block Diagrams
  • Citations
  • References

Block Diagrams

The visual impact of an application is almost as important as the written word. Make sure that the application includes pictographic representations of the invention – block diagrams, mechanical drawings, graphs, screenshots, etc.

Like ample description, the visuals should portray the innovation from different perspectives. For example the block diagram shown below is from a patent on “Techniques in Transit Advertising” (We have used the same patent as a reference throughout the post for easier understanding :)). The patent has 26 figures – a sign of high-quality patent application.

The illustration above is from the patent AU2013262776B2 (Google Patents Database).

Citations

A citation is a reference to prior art that’s relevant to a current patent application. 

There are two different types of citations 

Backward Citations

Backward citations are patents that are cited by a specific patent and forward citations are patents that cite a specific patent. In other words, these are earlier published documents that are publicly available before the filing date of a new patent application/prior art. 

Forward Citations

A good application must find and cite documents that 

  1. may anticipate the claimed invention, 
  2. or might be similar to the claimed invention and limit the scope of the patent protection, 
  3. or which generally reveal the state of the art of the technology.

These are forward citations. The number of forward citations a patent receives is often reflects on a patent’s significance.

The use of citations in a patent application shows the thoroughness of research. These can also act as markers to detail the scope of the invention. 

References 

A patent includes citations to other patents and literature that the examiner may find relevant to patentability (i.e., prior art). Adding references to the patent application makes it easier for the examiner to evaluate the same and indicates sophistication by the filer and generally indicates searching may have guided the draft.

They also add weight and credibility to the application, thereby increasing the chances of a grant.  The examiner will also search for references.  All the references will appear on the face of the patent application and more is better.

A good search prior to drafting helps define the novelty in the context of what others have done.  Claims should be drafted to broadly cover the innovation, but not step too far into the prior art.  Especially where your drafter may be unfamiliar with your technology, a good search can help familiarise them.

Tools To Evaluate Patent Quality

You might consider using a tool to evaluate patent quality. That is not a bad idea, but it has a downside. Let’s see how.

The quality of a patent encompass objective as well as subjective factors.

Objective factors are the ones that can be computed or measured by software. These include

  • Length of Specification
  • Number of claims
  • The number of words in the independent claims

Subjective factors are more traditional like:

  • Scope of the application
  • A correct and complete description of the heart of the innovation
  • How important innovation is to your business?

The tools available in the market can help you judge the quality of a patent defined by objective factors. It’s even possible to manipulate these objective factors. In fact, experienced and expert drafters can remarkably improve the quality of a patent. But for the subjective factors, human feedback is necessary.

In case you want to watch more about filing high quality patents, I suggest watching below video:

 

A Quick Recap

With this post we have tried to equip you with the ability to differentiate between a low and a high-quality patent application. To summarize presented below is a 7-points checklist for high-quality patent applications.

  1. High-quality patent specifications are written in unambiguous language to ensure that the ideas are not lost in translation.
  2. Claims should be directed to how your innovation uniquely solves the underlying problem that originally motivated the invention. Dependent claims can add details as possible fallback positions. 
  3. A high-quality patent application should have at least 2-3 pages of the core of the invention i.e. selling point of the innovation. Failure to disclose the details of the invention amounts to a failure to describe how the inventor was in the possession of the claimed invention.
  4. Make sure that the application includes pictographic representations of the invention – block diagrams, mechanical drawings, graphs, screenshots, etc. Like ample description, the visuals should portray the innovation from different perspectives.
  5. Numerous references in a  patent application make it easier for the examiner to evaluate the same and indicate sophistication by the filer. They also add weight and credibility to the application, thereby increasing the chances of a grant.
  6. A high-quality patent application covers the existing and future scope of innovation as far out into the future as you might imagine.
  7. The use of citations in a patent application shows the thoroughness of research. These can also act as markers to detail the scope of the invention. 

Conclusion

A well-drafted patent application, as expensive as it may be, is one of your best business investments. To ensure a high-quality patent application, hire the best. Read and re-read, keep editing, and amending and make the application thorough. In exchange for a limited monopoly, description and enablement are the “consideration” that you must provide to the public. 

To make the patent application even stronger, ask the following questions:

  1. Can this patent be adapted to the jurisdictions you would like to take it to in the future? Gain some insights here on the global patent portfolio strategy.
  2. How easy or difficult does the application make it to detect or prove infringement based on public information?
  3. Will competitors be able to understand the relevance of the patent?

Let’s keep that discussion for another day!

Wondering if your IP strategy is strong or not; read this “Is My IP Strategy Headed In Right Direction”!

Does My Company Need A Global Patent Portfolio Strategy?

WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO THINK ABOUT GLOBAL PATENT PORTFOLIO STRATEGY

A global patent portfolio strategy depends on the vision of the enterprise. The three main considerations are:

  1. Market Expansion in Different Geographies.
  2. Patenting Costs Vs Profits.
  3. Studying Competitor Markets.

There is a golden rule for successful global patent portfolio strategy:

Pick key markets that lock up at least 60% of the future revenues for the product as inexpensively as possible. 

Filing patents is an expensive affair. Let’s say, you wish to get patent protection on your product in China. It shall cost you somewhere between 20000 to 50000 USD. This cost involves not just filing but also patent attorney expenses, professional drawing expenses, patent office expenses, government taxes, etc. Say you wish to expand your product line in China, the IP investment shall make sense only if there is a good demand for that product in China. Otherwise, spending so much money without significant returns is going to hurt you.

Here is how you can create a global patent portfolio strategy without breaking your bank: 

Market Expansion in Different Geographies

Why do you need to file patents outside the country? The answer to this is simple:  you may be making profits in those areas. Your product may have a market outside the country and you plan to expand in those markets.

If you own the IP rights for a product only in the US, you can not stop anyone else in the rest of the world from making that product. You need to apply for patents in each country. Multi-country protection is possible in places like Europe, Africa and Russia.

But, do you need IP protection in each of the 195 countries in the world? 

No, there is no need to protect your IP in countries that might not have potential customers. 

Credits: Pexels

Patenting Costs Vs Profits

Before you make a decision, it would be great to do little math because the different costs involved in patent protection add up real quick and the sums become humongous. To give you a quick idea, in the US, the costs for filing a utility patent ranges anywhere between $8,000 and $15,000. Under the Euro-Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the cost of filing a patent is 47,000 Euros and it is valid in eight European countries. In India, the cost of drafting a patent application costs anywhere from $350 and above. You can know more about patent filing costs in more countries by using this link here. The more countries you look for protection in, the costlier it gets. 

Unless these costs can be covered up with the huge market potential in those countries, you should think hard before spending money in procuring patent protection there. If you think that stopping your competitors from being able to sell a similar product will add to your bottom line, then do go ahead with protecting your IP. The question to ask yourself is would you be able to recoup the money and make a profit if you sell in this market?

Look to see where you are going to make money and how the market is going to evolve over the term of the patent. The market landscape keeps changing. Although a patent protects you for 20 years, things keep evolving much more rapidly. You need to have a pulse of where the market is heading, the costs associated with IP protection, and your own objectives.

Studying Competitor Markets

Apart from having a patent in the country that you operate, you should also identify what your competitors are up to. A local competitor might be making huge money by selling a product like yours in another country. But you cannot stop them as you do not have any IP protection in that country. You need to protect your IP assets in that country to either stop them or license your technology. 

For example, you have a patent in the United States and you are only doing business there, but your competitor makes most of their money in Mexico. Picking up a patent battle with them in the United States may not be harmful to them, hence you would want to expand in Mexico and assert your patent there.

Does this make you worried about the IP expenses in various countries? Here’s the good news: you don’t have to protect your IP in all the countries in the world. That would be a frivolous waste of money, time, and resources. All you need to do is ‘make it painful enough so that the competition doesn’t want to introduce a competing product.’ Identify the key markets and lock these markets. The following section tells you how.

Lock key markets (Rule of Thumb)

Sometimes the thing to consider is that you get a broader protection in the countries you file in. For example you have a big patent portfolio in the United States. The likelihood that a competitor can launch a really similar product and sell only in Canada (which has only 1/6th of the population of the United States) is very less as some of the products require a lot of investment before you can make money in a country. Hence, the economics of protecting the market and building the market may not be there in Canada. So if some of the profits can not spill to the United States, it would be very difficult to build out the North America market. Thus, the United States becomes one of the key markets.

Similarly, there are key markets in Europe such as France, Germany and the UK. Once you get a protection in these countries, there is very less likelihood that a competitor is going to release a product in the other smaller jurisdictions such as Monaco, Liechtenstein. Hence, you don’t need to file in all jurisdictions. All you need to do is ‘make it painful enough so that the competition doesn’t want to introduce a competing product.’ 

For example, you have a strong patent portfolio built out in Germany. Because in Europe, the borders are very porous and Germany is a big market, any patent asserted in Germany is going to be very painful to your competitor, who might have wanted to sell a similar product. Most of the retailers, and sales channels are all across Europe, and a lot of retailers would not want to sell a product only in one part of Europe and not in the other (as it makes the logistics very difficult). Hence, if you are asserting a patent in one of the key markets in Europe, which is Germany, the competition may have to shut doors to all of Europe. 

While a world-dominion for your IP protection might sound fancy, it will certainly not be the smartest move in your playbook. Here’s what we would suggest to you:

Pick key markets which will lock up at least 60% of the future revenues for the product as inexpensively as possible. 

Let’s say you are in the electronics and software space, just by protecting your IP in Europe, USA, and a few Asian countries, such as China, you can lock up most of the market for many products. Getting coverage in these jurisdictions will cost you roughly $100,000. (Disclaimer: The rates of getting your IP protected also depends on the kind of patent. The $100,000 number is approximate for basic IP protection.) By protecting your product in these markets, you leave your competitor high and dry as they are forced to compete in secondary markets. Would that even be worthwhile for them? Chances are high that they may end up focusing on a different product which will make financial sense for them. 

While some companies might look at rich markets, there are industries where a huge population is appealing when they sell low-cost items. Drug manufacturers might prefer to go by headcount when it comes to deciding the countries that can be a part of the 60%. 

Hence, figure out what the revenue model for your product is, identify the key markets and lock 60% of your market as inexpensively as possible.

Conclusion

Protecting your IP can be a tricky business in itself. Coming up with a strategy to protect it from competitors in countries where your IP is not protected deserves a lot of your time and effort. Having the right strategy in place with an IP Consulting firm can save your firm big money. Hire an experienced IP attorney to help create a global patent portfolio strategy.

5 Innovations In IP Domain To Empower Patent Attorneys

5 Legal Tech Innovations to Empower Patent Attorney

Digitalisation Everywhere

Today I wish to share with you guys an interesting instance that happened with me last week. One of us was sneezing non-stop & it was a weekday. You can imagine how difficult it is to squeeze out time on a weekday for a doctor’s visit. The long queues and fear of catching the coronavirus at the doctor’s clinic. 

So, instead of going physically to a clinic, we tried something new. We consulted the doctor over a video call using a mobile app. And received the medication within 3 hours of the call. It took us just a few minutes to connect and speak to a doctor. It saved us 2 hours of the day which we would have otherwise spent on visiting a clinic. Thanks to digitalisation!

PC: Vecteezy

Digitalisation | Innovations in IP

Digitalisation is happening everywhere be it education domain or medical. And Covid-19 has acted as a strong catalyst to fuel it all up. This made me curious to know how digitalisation is transforming the legal domain. And my search began. 

I started looking for innovations in the IP domain leveraging digitalisation. While searching I stumbled upon a podcast channel -“Technically Legal”. The channel talks about innovations aimed to empower IP attorneys. I found exactly what I was looking for.  

Technically Legal” is a podcast channel hosted by Chad Main that revolves around tech innovations in the legal field. Chad has worked as a litigator and is now a founder of a legal tech services company.

I found a lot of interesting innovations spoken about in different episodes on the channel. Most of the innovations are targeted to automate mundane stuff that eats up a lot of time of legal professionals. Some innovations are based on AI (Artificial Intelligence) while some leverage VR (Virtual Reality). I believe that with innovations like these, the legal professionals can truly benefit & save time to pursue “real legal work”.

I was also hoping to find something that strengthens the patent mining process  at an organization. After all, we belong to an industry that’s centric to innovations. Innovation capture is the first step to patent mining which inturn brings a competitive edge to enterprises. Based on years of experience in the IP domain we felt a lack of business process that supports the complete workflow from ideas to patents. And that led the conception of a tool that specifically caters to capturing and collaborating over innovations.

This post speaks about 5 of my favourite innovations from different episodes of the podcast. Hope with this post, you’ll be able to make the much needed next move in digitalisation.

PC: Vecteezy

LegalMation | AI-Powered Automation Of Routine Litigation Tasks

The legal professionals lose a lot of time in certain mundane routine litigation tasks but with the advancement of technology, here is a time saviour on their way. LegalMation, an AI powered tool, automates document creation, promotes consistency and conserves the use of resources. 

LegalMation automates a lot of repetitive drafting of standard documents along the spectrum of litigation tasks such as:

  • Discovery responses,
  • RFPs (Request for Proposal),
  • RFAs (Regular First Appeal), 
  • Pleadings.

AI is bound to change the face of the legal industry. However, AI is not ready to perform a task without spoon-feeding it the details. The samples or specimens ought to be put by way of a supervisory process as it never forgets what you feed it. 

For example, at LegalMation, it took the AI tool about six months to understand and prepare suitable results for employment discrimination. 

One thing is set in stone that AI can never be an attorney’s replacement, and only be a compliment to attorneys. If you feed the AI with the correct and requisite information, then as the founder of LegalMation says “it will make attorneys do the ‘real legal work’ and not the routine or grunt work”.

Several law firms are using LegalMation for handling high stake litigation and also coming at par with the bigger law firms by leveraging automation to save time and conserve resources. 

CRM & Chatbots | Automation to Improve Client Communication

“Attorneys fail to respond to more than 60% of inquiries from prospective clients.” –  Clio’s Legal Trends Report.

60% sounds staggering. But, it can be brought down!

In this episode from the ”Technically Legal” podcast it was interesting to hear from Gyi Tsakalakis, founder of Attorney Sync,  on how certain parts of client communications can be automated to reduce this number.

Email automation or auto-responses can be set if the majority of your work is taking place on emails. Autoresponders help to set the client’s expectations for a follow-up. The automation tool has been designed for nurturing a client. 

For some of the common questions like fee structure or kinds of services available, a virtual assistant may be placed by the firm. A firm can add questions and answers to the hotline or virtual assistant and it further grasps the method on how to answer the queries. 

PC: Vecteezy

Using technology to improve responsiveness and strengthening client relationships ought to be at the forefront of legal professionals as it is often said that “old clients are untapped resources and they generate the majority of the work as compared to the new clients”. 

Client Relationship Management (CRM) tools are user friendly and are very well appreciated in maintaining relationships with clients by enabling the legal professionals to be more responsive to client queries, winning new business, tracking and answering calls, etc. 

CRM also takes potential client queries by way of preparing client lists, tracking leads, and managing the schedule.

PacerPro | Automating The Distribution & Data Capture From Federal Court Filings

An attorney always runs after saving time as doing that would provide him with an extra period of time to spend on “real legal work”.  

For example, somebody on the team receives notice for filing from the court via email. Afterward, everybody will download the document to see the court order, and doing this will take 6-7 minutes of everybody’s time. From the record department, paralegals, attorneys, to junior associates on the team, everybody will download the document and follow the process to label the pdf file and further, distributing it to the team on the case. This takes up everybody’s time in question which can be potentially saved.

Pacer Pro Manifold - Streamlined case management and automated data capture

To solve the above problem, Pacerpro is an application that streamlines and automates the distribution and captures data from the federal court website. 

Pacerpro does a one-time backend setup wherein the application adds the software’s email address to the attorney Electronic Court filing (ECF) profile and then on a going-forward basis, the attorney or legal associate will automatically receive the email after 1-2 minutes of the court notice that has the labeled pdf attached. 

Further on, the staff associate or the junior associate on the case can easily distribute the court order among the legal team in real-time. By way of this application, everyone will save time and distribute the court order to everybody on the team without them downloading the court order individually. 

The Pacerpro founders conducted a study on several law firms wherein they found out that automating the distribution and processing of federal court filings saved nearly 50,000 hours of human time.

Slack | Automating Legal Workflows And (Not) Using Email

Another problem which attorneys often face is the exchange of a plethora of emails and the availability of the staff or clients to receive emails. There is a lot of hassle in back and forth email conversations and keeping all data in one email trail mail. 

To counter this problem, many firms and organizations have started using Slack as a platform for their virtual workspace or to keep the entire work product in one place. The productivity and effectiveness of the legal team have also increased. 

Slack as a platform is not limited to being a communication hub. It possesses features such as workflows and bots which the legal departments can use to automate common legal tasks. 

Slack workflows are majorly utilized for answering field questions, review documents and agreements as well as to close sales deals. 

Email Killer | Slack

Slack is known as the email killer or replacement for email. There are multiple channels for different work or teams. One can easily put the information, announcement, or any other important document for everybody to read on a multi-party channel. It gets rid of the traditional way of sending emails to everybody individually to send one particular message or announcement. 

Channels are defined as building blocks of work. Different channels will have different people in them and they can view the whole inbox trail. If a new person gets added to the channel, then they can easily view the previous conversation by way of the archive on the said channel. 

One can also connect with external stakeholders on Slack. The Platform also provides the option of creating public/private channels wherein anyone can enter or get added on a public channel but there are private channels available for one particular team or for the client for maintaining attorney-client communication by the Attorney. Nobody has access to the conversations on the Private Channel. 

You may easily turn off the notifications on weekends or as and when you please. You can also correct typos or other information as there is an option of editing a message on Slack. Whereas you need to double or triple check the content you type in the email body because you cannot retract the Email or edit the typos if you have any. 

ESI | Virtual Reality As An Aid in Patent Cases

Litigation in high stakes cases often lacks scientific accuracy.

To resolve the problem of lack of scientific accuracy in complex legal cases, one Virtual Reality (VR) technology by Engineering Systems Inc. (ESI) has emerged which tends to help jurors clearly understand what happened in a case and under what circumstances.

PC: Vecteezy

Virtual Reality is a technology that can aid in patent cases, tort cases as well as in personal injury cases. The court of law and legal practitioners appreciate the visualizations and demonstrations which help the case reach its verdict faster. 

For example, in patent law, courts are facing a surge in the amount of litigation over patents that only exist by way of prototypes. VR patents help those patents come to existence by utilising the patent specifications and claims. Afterward, they are presented before the courts as evidence which help reach the verdict faster and in a more effective way. 

VR technology is very accurate in capturing measurements or dimensions through the process of laser scanning. 

In a few cases, drones are also used to capture imagery and model the property virtually to eliminate the list of events that cannot occur and figure out events that may have occurred.

The creation of 3D models and virtual reality applications help attorneys to better argue their case after understanding the case in depth. The technology also demonstrates to the judges and juries how exactly the situations occurred.

Let’s Sum It Up

Law firms all over the world are now being disrupted by the changes provided via technological developments. All these innovations and softwares are bound to change the nature of legal practice and bring efficiency. 

Law firms and attorneys ought to opt for these changes and be at the top of their game to maintain their competitive edge. Below we have summarised the 5 innovations we spoke about in the post.

LegalMation helps the attorneys by automating a lot of repetitive drafting of standard documents. 

Gyi Tsakalakis, founder of Attorney Sync proposed utilisation of technology to improve responsiveness and strengthen client relationships. 

Pacerpro as a software streamlines and automates the distribution of federal court websites, thereby capturing the relevant data. 

Slack comes off as an effective alternative to email communication for automating the legal workflows. 

VR technology has contributed vastly to the legal industry through its scientific accuracy.

We are happy to join the battalion of innovators in the Intellectual Property (IP) domain. At Triangle IP, we have created an innovation capture and tracking tool to empower patent portfolio managers, inventors, patent prosecutors and startup founders.

We look forward to seeing you go digital wherever possible. Wishing you good times ahead! 

Is My IP Strategy Headed in the Right Direction?

Triangle IP - Is my IP strategy headed in right direction?

As a fledgling company looking to make your mark, you have to be defensive. The lawsuits are quite a costly affair and can certainly be lethal. You will find yourself being pushed into bankruptcy even before you can really get going. Patents are expensive. But the protection that a strong patent portfolio can give your company is unmatched. 

Seek first to understand, then to be patented 

Building your own patent strategy is personal to your business and its goals. It largely depends on your company’s strategic vision. But it is also important to understand your competition. Possessing competitive intelligence is key. To build an effective patent strategy, understand your market and your competition.  If you are entering a market space that is patent heavy, investors will be expecting you to have patents as well. But how many do you need? And where should you start? 

Start from the very beginning 

A good place to start is Google Patents. Let’s say you are a start-up that’s entering the marketplace with a product that is a virtual assistant. You might suspect that in the digital age, this is a heavily patented space. A simple search on Google Patents will list for you the details of many patents in the space. You will find details including who are the inventors and owners along with many similar patents. The free platform provides a comprehensive coverage of every patent. The status of filing, litigation (if any), the office it has been filed in, etc. is all available to anyone. ​Spend a little more time studying the competitor innovation along with their filing their habits in the patent world. This will help you build competitive intelligence as you pursue your own patent portfolio. 

 Without patent(s) to protect the innovation in your product, you will be a pigeon amongst cats. Without patent protection as a defense, you are exposing yourself to attack. This can be in the form of infringement suits or threats that scare away your customers. Competitors will look to shake confidence in your investors or slow you down before your IPO. Or worse still, look to remove you from the marketplace before you reap its rewards. 

Before you build your portfolio to protect your company, go back to the drawing board. Relook at your vision for your startup and draw a blueprint of your product’s journey as it navigates past the competition. Mark out where you want to be in the next six months, year, five years, and then long term. Once you have the answers to those questions is when you choose which patents you want to pursue.  

Build a Portfolio; Ward off Litigation 

Did you know you are less likely to be sued with a strong patent portfolio than without it? With a patent portfolio, you are reducing the risk of the patent suit out of fear you would countersue. You are also giving yourself a chance to go on the offensive when you need to.

Sharks (large companies with many patents) are always on the lookout for little fish (start-ups with little to no patents). By not having patent protection, you are more likely to lose a patent lawsuit. The reason is not only statistical but logical. You become an easy target to go after as there is little chance of countersuit and even if unsuccessful, a small company can be bled out with the extraordinary litigation costs.

But patents are an expensive affair. (Read this to know everything about costs of IP in the US and this to know how to make your money work for you.) Choosing the right patents to have is an important part of competitive intelligence. If your portfolio is too small there is more risk of losing a patent battle. Your portfolio should be commensurate to your position/station in the marketplace. Having a portfolio that has about half the number of patents as compared to a competitor twice the size is a good rule of thumb. Being in this position will allow you to counter-sue. When the competition knows that it is susceptible to a countersuit, it is less likely to take you to court.  

In Sum, Strategy First

A strong patent portfolio doesn’t always mean having a ton of patents attached to your name. A strong patent portfolio is something that is unique to your company’s innovation. It is something you think about as much as you think about your product. Having the right patents is as important as having the right product while procuring patents to match your growth timelines. This can be difficult with all the distraction that product development and new releases can bring.

Having a strategy and growing your portfolio along with your product success will strengthen your market dominance. Seek professional advice in building your patent strategy. That way, you stand to make the most of your investment. We’ve got Google’s most asked patent questions answered here for you already! Patents can be your biggest business weapon and most attractive assets. They attract investments when your fledgling product gains market while protecting you when you grow. So choose wisely, build well. 

On that note, from us to you – Happy Patenting!

Patents Vs. Trade Secrets: Which Way To Go?

Patents vs Tradesecrets which way to go

Patents Vs Trade Secrets | Choose Wisely!

‘Patents are expensive, why don’t we just trade secret everything?’ If this is a thought and cost cutting is something you’re looking to do, read on. It is no secret that investing in patents is an expensive affair. At the same time, a rich IP portfolio is very advantageous. Here, we talk about Patents, Trade Secrets, and Defensive Publications as IP tools to help you decide which one to be used in which scenario.

Trade Secret:

A trade secret is any information that’s unique to your enterprise and gives you an advantage over your competitors. As a company, this could include formulae, technical data, code, manufacturing data, customer information or any other technical, scientific information that a company may take steps to keep secret.  To keep such things as a trade secret does not require any money however you need to take care of certain things to maintain the secrets (as described later).

Defensive Publication:

A defensive publication is a disclosure of invention by the inventor to the public. This disclosure allows the inventor to safeguard the freedom to use this invention by preventing others from patenting it.

In the event a patent is sought to be obtained for the same or similar invention, a pre-dated defensive publication will act as a deterrent to the issue of such patent.

Put simply, any printed or electronic publication that fully describes an invention and was published before the filing date of a patent application can disqualify that patent from being granted.

Patent:

A patent is an exclusive right granted by a government for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. 

In order for an invention to be patentable,  

  1. It must be new
  2. It must involve an inventive step, one that is non-obvious to a person skilled in the field
  3. And it must be capable of industrial application

Patents protect your inventions for 20 years during which you enjoy a monopoly in the market place. However patent protection is country specific. So you enjoy the monopoly within the geographic boundary that your patent has been granted in. As a patent owner, you can do the following:

  1. You have the right to prevent others from using it, abandon it, sell it.
  2. You may also assign it or license it in totality or for a specific purpose. 

So, how does one choose what kind of protection to use for an invention? 

Trade Secrets

There are three vital things to do when you think of protecting something as a trade secret:

  1. Define your trade secrets and maintain an inventory of the trade secrets of your organization.
  2. Make your employees aware of the fact that these are trade secrets. Ensure confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements are in place.
  3. Do not make any information about your trade secret publicly available.

Here are some questions that will help you choose the right type of IP protection: “Patents Vs Trade Secrets”.

How easy is it to reverse engineer your invention?

The thumb rule of trade secret protection is to use it when inventions are impossible or require a very hard degree of effort to be reverse-engineered. By its very nature, a trade secret is vulnerable to reverse engineering because it only remains secret until it’s a secret! So, patent protection for inventions that can be easily reverse-engineered is more appropriate. How easy reverse engineering is; depends on the nature of your invention.

Mechanical inventions

Products that are a result of this kind of innovation are fairly easy to reverse engineer. With anything that is easy to reverse engineer, trade secret protection becomes completely ineffective.  

Chemical Compositions, Software & Electronic Inventions

While these are not as easy as mechanical inventions, with a little time and effort these products can also be reverse-engineered. Read this to understand how!  

Processes

These are quite difficult to reverse engineer. Since processes are business-specific, they are easier to keep within the company. There is a long list of food products that have managed to keep their recipes or chemical formulae as trade secrets for many years e.g. Coca-Cola, Listerine, Twinkies, Krispy Kreme Donuts, WD-40, etc. Google Search Algorithm and NewYork Times criteria for creating the best Sellers list are two processes that serve as great examples for trade secrets.

How beneficial is it to your company to keep your invention a secret?

In a cut-throat market place, competition is everything. A major aspect to consider if keeping your invention a trade secret gives you a clear competitive advantage. There are six factors of competitive advantage: price, quality, selection, speed, turnaround and service. Does your trade secret serve or help further any of these purposes?

Who are your likely competitors and how motivated will they be to access your invention?

To choose the right kind of IP protection, it is important to understand your competition. The motivation of your competition to access your invention will be directly proportionate to your market position. So, having a clear understanding of your market, your product and the path of your company will help with answering this question. 

Will the invention be useful after 20 years?

One of the reasons you choose trade secret protection over patent protection is to extend the lifetime of protection that it offers. While patents offer you protection or a monopoly of 20 years; trade secrets can last you a lifetime. Although trade secrets are less of a strain on the pocket procedurally, keeping them a secret always comes at a cost. Being able to gauge the usefulness of your invention after 20 years is a great tool to decide how you would like to protect it. 

Patents

The following is a list of reasons to patent and questions that will help you evaluate the patentability of an invention:

Competitive Edge

A business usually wants to patent an invention to have a competitive edge, market power, and as a tool to earn more money. Hence the first question to ask is whether there is a market for the invention, the technology, or products incorporating it? 

Need in the Market

If there is a market for your invention, what are the available alternatives to it, and how do they compare with your invention? Check multiple factors such as utility, price, availability, customer satisfaction etc.

Utility of Invention

Once you have data on the market space, ask if the invention is useful for improving an existing product or developing a new product? If so, does it fit in with your company’s business strategy? 

Fund Raising

Another big reason for choosing to patent is using it as a tool to raise funds and attract potential investors. Before you choose to spend resources on a patent, check if there are potential licensees or investors who will be willing to take the invention to market?

New Revenue Stream

If you are looking to patent to sell your invention or as a tool to add a new revenue stream by licensing your patent, ask how valuable will the invention be to your business and to competitors? Also, just how easy is it to reverse engineer your invention from your product or to “invent around” it? Is reverse engineering easy enough to tempt others, especially competitors, to invent and patent what you have invented?

Sales & Profit

Purely as a tool to increase sales, profits, and revenue, do the expected profits from an exclusive position in the market justify the costs of patenting?

Commercial Utility

Lastly, what aspects of the invention can be protected by one or more patents, how broad can this coverage be and will this provide commercially useful protection

Defensive Publications

If you don’t want to walk down either the Trade Secret or the Patent route, you may consider a Defensive Publication. By making a defensive publication, your invention is neither a trade secret, nor patentable (if not done so within the time frame offered under certain jurisdictions). A defensive publication may be ideal for smaller inventions or inventions which do not serve your company greatly, financially.

What a defensive publication does is safeguards your right to continue doing what you are doing or at the very least opening yourself out to challenge patents. When you make a defensive publication, you essentially disallow someone else from filing a patent. Or giving you the arsenal you need to hold a patent invalid because you published first. With a defensive publication (made in the USA), you are given a one year grace period to file a patent based on such publication. 

A Quick Recap | Patents Vs Trade Secrets

To summarise, here is a tabular comparison of “Patents Vs Trade Secrets”.

FactorsPatentsTrade Secrets
Reverse EngineeringNot a factor that needs to be worried about since you make public disclosure with a patent, and are granted full rights.The easier it is to reverse engineer your invention, the riskier it is to protect it as a trade secret.
CostExpensive mechanism of protection. Involves attorney fee for drafting and filing and official fee for obtaining a patent.In theory, a trade secret is free. Practically, keeping it a well-guarded secret may cost your company a certain sum of money.
Life of the inventionIf your invention can stand the test of time and still be relevant after twenty years, this is not the right protection.The benefits of keeping a trade secret are directly proportionate to the life of your invention.
Funding and Marketing Better option to obtain funding as ideas become easier to explain to investors because of public disclosure. Difficulty in explaining the invention to an investor for fear of divulging a secret may prove to be a hurdle for funding.
First Mover AdvantageYou lose out on the advantage of being an initial significant occupant as disclosure through a patent application can help competition enter the same market space slightly quicker than otherwise. With choosing to protect your invention as a trade secret, you can extend this advantage to a slightly longer time as your competition will have no information on your invention in the public domain before its market entry. 

Conclusion

Choose wisely when deciding how you want to protect your ideas/inventions. Trade secrets are a great way forward and help you save your resources. Use these resources in patenting your best inventions. They don’t always have to cost a fortune. Here’s a guide to cost-effective patenting.

Like all things, life and business, IP protection is also all about balance. Trade secrets and patents can sometimes be used in a manner that is more complimentary than the contrary. IP strategy is personal to a Company and its journey. Hopefully, this shall make you choice easier: Patents Vs Trade Secrets.

10 Types of Innovation To Drive Growth at your Company

10 Types of Innovation

“80% of executives think that their current business models are at risk.”

– according to McKinsey.

Executives also feel a lack of clarity on what the problem is and how to improve. If you feel the same way, read on for some ideas that can help you drive growth at your company by innovating.

Innovation is the only way to win | 10 Types of Innovation

“Innovation is the only way to win.” – Steve Jobs

As a business that is looking not just to stay afloat but be relevant, one is continually looking for different ways to innovate. 

Innovation can happen at so many different levels. It can be new ideas leading to new products, old ideas in a new market space, or new ideas in an old market space. It can also be new ways of reaching customers; whether by services or packaging. Or even a change within the company structure to result in a change in company ethos.

Here is a list of 10 types of innovation for you to ignite the spark of innovation in your organization:

1. Product Performance Innovation

“There is a way to do it better – find it.” – Thomas A. Edison.

This is a great place to start, for it focuses on product features and value offered to customers. This innovation will allow you to focus on making your products better without much other change.  It will also give you the option to create new products. Also, updates and line extensions that add substantial value. Features, functionality and design are the core of this type of innovation.

Let’s take a look at the evolution of Toyota Prius, which set a trend for hybrid cars 15 years ago. And has constantly improved fuel efficiency with each generation:

TimelineGenerationInnovation in Fuel Efficiency (Improved Performance)
1997-2003First28.0 km/L in Japanese 10-15 test cycle
2003-2009Second35.5 km/L
2009-2015Third38.0 km/L.
2015-Fourth40.8 km/L in Japanese JC08 test cycle

2. Structure Innovation

Structure innovations aim at reorganisation of company assets. These assets can be hard, human, or intangible. This kind of innovation challenges you to make them work in unique ways that create value. Tapping your human resources to develop a new talent management system or configuring your heavy equipment in a manner that increases production are a couple of ways of innovating structurally.

In sum, this is how you structure and organize your assets. This type of innovation is usually the most difficult to copy. These unique changes are particular to your organization and they go on to provide a foundation for your Company to build a sustainable future.

Vertical farming (an urban farming solution) used in Singapore is a perfect example for structural innovation. Singapore is a small island and scarce in natural resources as required for farming.

Sky Urban Solutions, a Singapore based company, took upon themselves to solve this challenge in 2009. As the land is scarce, Sky Urban came up with the innovative idea of vertical farming, farm over a farm. In concept, it is similar to a multi-storeyed building which is a vertical arrangement of house over a house.

Structure Innovation | 10 types of Innovation

Sky Greens’ A-Go-Gro System

3. Channel Innovation

One interesting way to differentiate a good and great product is a way how it is channeled to the customer. Channel innovations focus on how you connect your company’s offerings with your buyers. The challenge is to find ways of giving your customer the most innovative delivery experience.

A great example of channel innovation is the Subscription Model that a number of companies have recently adopted. Offering products to your consumers in a ‘curated’ form, with special goodies reaching them every month is an exciting way of broadening customer base. 

I would like to share a personal experience here that I had when I subscribed to Mel Science. Mel has brought monthly experiment kits for young minds to experience the wonders of chemistry. My son absolutely loves it. And I think his amazement translates into successful channel innovation at Mel.

4. Profit Model Innovation

Your approach to profit model innovations can be many. As the name suggests, this innovation is driven by profit as the motive. A good profit model will find a new way to convert your company’s offerings and other sources of value into cash. A great one is born of an understanding of what your customers value about your company. This understanding of what is cherished by your market is where new revenue or pricing opportunities can be found.

AirBnB was born in a rented accommodation when the founders couldn’t afford paying their rent. What started out as a rental of air mattresses cum breakfast, has today become AirBnB. With little, to no capital investment, AirBnB has given billions of people great holiday experiences.

Understanding what customers want, they have aced the minimal input –  great return game. Besides, it’s exemplary to see how beautifully they have pivoted with “online experiences” when the pandemic hit.  

5. Incremental Innovation

Incremental innovation is about taking baby steps towards your goal! It is a series of small improvements or upgrades made to your existing products and/or services. It challenges you to increase your product’s value to the customer. You may do this by upgrading features, design, etc. while playing your own market. These changes focus on improving an existing product’s development efficiency, productivity, and competitive differentiation.

Developing a product in increments is the way most tech companies function. Whether it is Amazon and its range of Echo or One Plus and its range of phones.

Utilizing their existing technology, these companies play their own market encouraging and enticing their customers to upgrade and keep up with their innovation.

6. Process Innovation

Process innovations are in a way similar to structure innovations – both these kinds of innovation involve changing the way things work inside your company. The process innovation challenges you to think of ideas out-of-the-box so as to bring out what is unique to your company. These innovations call for you to modify your core competency, as a company.

Process innovation happens by changing the activities and operations of your company. Unlike other innovations that push you towards revolutionizing a product, this pushes you to make the journey more rewarding. Some of the ways in which process innovation may occur is in IP strategy or a shift in the method and process of building a certain product.

Fast fashion has revolutionized the industry. An industry that was essentially driven by seasons and ramps. H&M, by working on collections that were not dictated by these terms but the needs of the market escalated its growth by a small change in business as usual.

7. Red Ocean Innovation

The market and industries as they exist today is the Red Ocean. It gets its name from the cut-throat competition in existence to grab a greater market share. With all things being equal, this kind of innovation can be the easiest, but also the most difficult.

How can you revolutionise a product in existence?

This is the challenge of red ocean innovation. Urge your company to pick up something old, a product you may already have floated in the market, and shake it up to change the user experience. The user needs to feel like your product is the only one that (s)he MUST use! 

Creating a no-frills, low-cost airline was a masterstroke in the crowded airspace. AirAsia by introducing tickets and prices that made flying affordable caused a stir in the ocean.

8. Blue Ocean Innovation

Contrary to the Red Ocean, the Blue Ocean is an unchartered territory. Innovation in the blue ocean encourages you to create a new market space and leave the old, bloody market space behind.

Hence, in the Blue Ocean you don’t compete over existing products instead you rather create a new market space altogether.

With this, you also set the benchmark for a market space that may have a future, thanks to your product.

New market, new product, new pioneer!

This is perhaps the most exciting innovation because it requires you to think like there is no box!

Cirque de Soleil is the greatest example of Blue Ocean Innovation for not only did it bring back the circus, it made it a luxury! By eliminating animal involvement and adding theatrical elements, Cirque has created a loyal audience and a brand in itself. It hurts to see how pandemic has hit them hard.

However, we all look forward to seeing how they pivot themselves. 

9. Disruptive Innovation

A step further in the unchartered direction is disruptive innovation. Here, you ring out the old and ring in the new.

Consumers are easily bored.

When you innovate to disrupt, you tap that boredom and turn it into something exciting for the consumer.

A simple idea with maximum impact would work like a charm. But, in the right market. So, once you identify the market that has bored its consumers, all you need to do is come up with an idea to revolutionize it. Value creation will follow closely behind.

Netflix has been a great disruptor. Understanding that there was a market of customers who were used to online shopping, Netflix tapped into this. Creating an OTT platform, it overlooked ardent DVD subscribers and targeted the “new normal” instead. 

10. Service Innovation

“Never ever compete on prices, instead compete on services and innovation.” – Jack Ma

Service innovation is about how you make your product easier to use. Making your product more enjoyable for your customer – servicing his/her needs.  Helping your customer get better value from your product.

These are what will set you and your product apart. The challenge with service innovations is going above and beyond.

A product is not all R&D. Here, the goal is to reach the very heart of your customer.

Nike has long been known for its customer experience, but it has taken things to the next level at its new New York City flagship store.

The Speed Shop allows customers to order shoes online and try them on in-store. Customers use a special entrance to find their shoe locker, which is unlocked via smartphone. After trying the shoes on, they can check out on mobile without having to interact with a person.


Hope these 10 types of innovation shall give a head start to your innovation program. Innovating within your company is as essential as innovating your offerings. All good ideas need interaction, conflict, debate. Encourage that within your organization.

Last but not the least, I wish to recommend to you a great tool that can help you in tracking your innovations – TIP by TraingleIP.

It is a great place for you to capture and collaborate on your ideas for your innovations.

You might also like to read “7 Ways To Encourage Innovative Thinking In The Workplace“.