12 Essential Features of IP Management Software

Pro Tip: Patent analytics is one of the essential features of IP management software to fetch actionable intelligence!

It is no secret that to stay on top of the game, every organization needs to tap into the full potential of its innovators. Innovation management requires a systematic business process to track ideas through patents, which some term as ‘patent mining’. However, your patent mining process might be broken because of things like: 

  • Complex Invention Disclosure Forms (IDFs)
  • Ineffective collaboration among members from different departments like – engineering, business, legal, etc.
  • No set process to track ideas progress through complete IP workflow – Capturing, Vetting, Patent Drafting, Patent Filing, and Patent Portfolio Managing
  • Security risks like confidential data being leaked
  • Stale PAIR data due to dependency on a human resource to pull out the information

To make your patent mining process robust you need to provide the right training and resources to your team. As they say, well begun is half done. Identifying the right IP management software shall be instrumental to your patent mining process. Here are 12 essential features of IP management software:

  1. Intuitive idea submission form
  2. Customizable idea capture form
  3. Effective collaboration to refine the ideas
  4. Ease of thorough vetting
  5. Role-based access
  6. End-to-end tracking from ideas to patents and beyond
  7. Automatic updates – in sync with USPTO
  8. Cost estimation
  9. Tags to ease filtering
  10. Case analytics
  11. Detailed examiner analytics
  12. Dashboards for a holistic view

#1. Intuitive Idea Submission Form

Also known as the Invention Disclosure Form (IDF), an ideal idea submission form is simple, intuitive, and engaging. The IDF captures the necessary details about the invention. It requires the innovator to describe the problem, solution, and enhanced features over existing solutions. A great IDF is the one that inventors don’t feel any friction to fill.

#2. Customizable Idea Capture Form

A good IP management software allows customization of the Invention Disclosure Form (IDF) as per the needs of your organization. The software might be providing a form that has necessary fields that are commonly used by various organizations. However, there could be certain fields, one might wish to add to that existing form. An idea capture form that can be personalized as per an organisation’s internal requirements is something you should look for.  It should be possible to incorporate the company’s internal nomenclature so that no training is required for staff.

For example, The TIP idea form offers a summary field to share details about the invention. However, you might wish to have the invention details divided into sections like – 1. Problem 2. Solution and 3. Advantages. Each expected to be captured by different form fields. The software should provide an option to customize the form as per your needs.

#3. Effective Collaboration to Refine the Ideas

Imagine editing functionality just like “Google docs” – Two or more people can simultaneously edit the same document. Changes made by each person can be tracked. Version history can be maintained.  Having similar functionality in an IP management software can be extremely helpful. Example: When an inventor, an attorney and an associate are discussing an idea, each one can edit the same piece of text within the software with their thoughts and inputs. None of them need to take notes manually and edit the idea text later.

#4. Ease of Thorough Vetting

The software must provide a way for collaborators to exchange ideas over an idea or a patent draft for that matter. Ability to add comments can go a long way to facilitate this.

#5. Role-Based Access

If your organization wants to keep certain strategic patent portfolio data confidential, a key feature to look for in the IP management software is role-based access. The software will allow only that part of the information to be visible to the person accessing the software, which is required as per his/her role. The confidential information will be visible only to the key personnel.  For instance, an organization may require that an inventor should be able to see only the patent portfolios that he is a part of, not the whole company’s.

#6. End-to-End Tracking from Ideas to Patents and Beyond

A process-driven IP management software will take your organization a long way. It should ideally facilitate the tracking of the idea from its inception till patenting and beyond. For an IP workflow ideas & patents need to be tracked through the following stages:

  • Capturing of idea
  • Evaluation and vetting of the idea/invention
  • Drafting of patent application
  • Filing of the patent application
  • Managing the patent portfolio

A quick view into the patent portfolio as shown below shall be an added benefit. Taking this to the next level shall be an in-depth view of each case (See #10. Case Analytics).

Triangle IP is going to release an upgraded version soon with all the features mentioned here. Click on the image below to get exclusive access!

#7. Automatic Updates – In Sync with USPTO

Wouldn’t it be easier if the IP management software also provided the updates regarding the status of your applications from the USPTO PAIR? An intellectual property management software can have integrated tools to provide automatic updates to help track the progress of the application. It will also help in notifying about any PTO rejections received. This feature will allow you to have everything in one place instead of tracking various activities throughout the innovation process.

#8. Cost Estimation

Knowing the cost of patenting an invention and the average allowance rate in the domain can ease out your patenting decisions. Patent analytics help in predicting the cost that helps managers and business owners manage the budget accordingly. Look for an intellectual property management software that offers this functionality.

#9. Tags to Ease Filtering

Tagging the ideas/patents with keywords helps to filter out the ideas/patents around a particular technology or product or business function etc. An IP management software must be able to pull this information out for you with the click of a button.

#10. Case Analytics

Say you filed a patent application with the help of a law firm. In your intellectual property  management software dashboard, you see that the application is still pending with 4 office actions after 3 years of prosecution. You would be curious to see the general ‘health’ of your application. To know how other applications have fared in that domain. Also, what would be good to know is the performance of the law firm handling your patent application. If you see that other applications, on average, had one office action and were granted in 2 years; you would be in a better position to discuss and strategize with the patent attorney. This shall help you to find a way to speed up the prosecution. Hence, while looking for an intellectual property management software check if it provides law firm analytics as well.

#11. Detailed Examiner Analytics

Knowing more about the USPTO examiner handling your application helps you understand how you should be handling the prosecution. It helps your patent attorney take the best approach with respect to the assigned examiner. When your IP management software can provide examiner analytics, it will give you pointers to strategize patent prosecution. For instance, examiner analytics can help you understand if prioritizing the examiner  interview can fasten the prosecution process.

#12. Dashboards for a Holistic View

A key feature to look for in an IP management software is dashboards. Dashboards provide a holistic view of your idea pipeline, the filed USPTO applications as well as patents. These dashboards can help you get a pulse of the quality of the ideas submitted, probable roadblocks and your inventor activity. These help you take decisions/make changes accordingly.

Wrap Up – Essential Features of IP Management Software:

A patent mining process is broken in the absence of software that streamlines the journey of ideas to patents. An IP management software allows your organization to capture, evaluate, and further them for patenting and beyond. Hope that this list of essential features of IP management software shall be helpful to you in making an informed decision. Triangle IP is coming up with a version soon – that covers all these features and more! Register here to get early access to all these features for free for a limited time! Stay updated with the latest features of the Triangle IP tool and its subsequent releases. Sign up for the newsletter!

Note: The preceding is general business advice and not to be construed as legal advice. IP laws vary by country and retaining licensed legal counsel is advised to confirm this information. Any expressed or implied opinions are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Triangle IP or any other entity who might be associated with the presenter. We hope this content is helpful to you, but should not be relied upon without confirming the advice and accuracy with local legal counsel. Any comments or inquiries are not confidential so please discuss your issues directly with counsel.

Invention Disclosure Sample: Open Your Patent Pipeline Right

‘It’s not about ideas, it’s about making ideas happen’ – Scott Belsky

Getting invention disclosures to capture your innovation is the first step of the patent mining process. To make sure you are receiving enough disclosures, you need an intuitive disclosure system. One that inventors, R&D staff, and other stakeholders engage with effortlessly.

Thomas Franklin, the founder of Triangle IP, has worked with many inventors over the 25 years of his patent prosecution experience. He observed that long and complex forms intimidate inventors and discourage them from completing the task. Hence, we at TriangleIP (TIP) have created an innovation management software with an inventor-friendly invention disclosure form (IDF). We provide an invention disclosure sample in this post filled with sample information for your convenience.

Putting the right foot forward for the patent program requires a simple and engaging IDF. We need to make sure that inventors capture innovation as part of their job to help us commercialize that inventive idea. The IDF designed at TIP, is driven by empathy towards inventors by being simple, engaging, and intuitive. 

Invention Disclosure Sample:

Here is an invention disclosure sample. The first half of the invention disclosure sample, including the summary, can be filled by the inventor. The next half serves to capture feedback from the manager and IP counsel on the invention.

Invention Disclosure Sample
Triangle IP – Invention Disclosure Sample

The invention disclosure form provided at ‘TIP – Innovation Management Software’ requires the following information:

Idea Number:

Idea number is a unique tracking identifier for each idea submitted in the portfolio. The purpose is to make sure that ideas have their own unique code or identifier.  This number may be determined by other software systems our the docketing system.

Title:

The purpose of the title is to briefly describe the invention. Example – “Improved System for detecting the position of other vehicles on the road”. It should be apparent what the ‘invention’ is all about from the title alone.

Inventor Email:

This field captures the contact information of all associated inventors to facilitate further communication.  The inventor need not be a current user of the TIP tool.  Adding their email address will give them access to the idea.

Manager Email:

This field captures the manager’s email address responsible for reviewing the inventor’s idea, approving budget or otherwise progressing the idea to a patent application. Every enterprise has its structure. The inventors have busy schedules, and patent protection might not be their priority. To ensure that the potential inventions receive patent protection, the managers need to push them forward. Any user of the TIP tool can be given manager rights by another manager or administrator.

Summary:

The summary field captures a brief description of the idea to help the manager or prosecutor understand the invention. The summary can include:

  • The problem that prompted the idea or invention
  • The technical solution to the problem that is the invention
  • How the invention will be implemented (if figured out)
  • The enhanced or novel features that don’t appear in competing products
  • The advantages of their invention over prior solutions. 

Additionally, The TIP innovation management software allows attaching documents such as patent drafts, detailed working, and invention drawings.

Prosecutor Email:

This field captures the patent prosecutor’s email address responsible for drafting the application.

Value:

This field helps the managers and IP counsels to rate the idea between 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. It is a subjective value to the enterprise of a patent on a particular idea. The enterprise can assess the value of the invention based on its: 

  • Usefulness
  • Feasibility
  • Commercialization potential 
  • Alignment with enterprise’s business and policies

Tags:

The tags are to provide the searchable keywords for the idea. These tags help to filter and organize your portfolio. Quickly search for a particular technology or business vertical that was previously tagged.

Patentable:

This field reflects on the likelihood of the idea being issued a patent, between 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. The IP counsel assesses the idea’s patentability based on novelty and non-obviousness with respect to the prior art and the patent office’s receptiveness to this type of technology.

Filing Deadline:

This includes any filing goal that might be driven by publication, release, or offers for sale. In the case of commercially viable ideas, the enterprise can set its goals for the production, launch, and sale of the invention.

Let’s Sum it Up:

Presented above is a simple, engaging & inventor-friendly invention disclosure sample. It has all the necessary details for invention disclosures you must seek. However, if your enterprise requires more fields in the IDF, the TIP innovation management software will soon offer customization. Your admin will have the flexibility to add custom fields to our simple innovation form to cater to their enterprises’ specific requirements.

Exciting Features Of TIP Tool –

  • Simple capture with no intimidating fields
  • The offline IDF will soon be readable back into the TIP tool
  • Online collaboration and workflow with role-based control and security
  • Allows for attaching additional documents to explain the idea or invention
  • Links ideas and attachments to patent filings for later reference

Thomas Edison rightly said, “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” Give  TIP tool a try to capture innovations by your inventors. Simplify your patent mining process with its easy workflow and drag-and-drop features. Also, the invention disclosure form at TIP is downloadable, as an offline version, both in word and excel. 

Note: The preceding is general business advice and not to be construed as legal advice. IP laws vary by country and retaining licensed legal counsel is advised to confirm this information. Any expressed or implied opinions are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Triangle IP or any other entity who might be associated with the presenter. We hope this content is helpful to you, but should not be relied upon without confirming the advice and accuracy with local legal counsel. Any comments or inquiries are not confidential so please discuss your issues directly with counsel.

Idea Evaluation: 6 Questions to ask while Selecting Ideas for Patents

Is your ideas to budget ratio usually skewed – in favor of ideas? Evaluating ideas for patentability becomes a brain-drain exercise in such a scenario. However, selecting the right ideas will most efficiently put your budget to work. This post lays out a framework to help you choose ideas for patenting that have the most potential.

Most enterprises choose to evaluate patents after they issue, which is much easier than at the beginning of the process where ideas are selected for patenting. The ideas that will be the most valuable as patents require speculation. The ultimate claim scope and importance of an innovation to market success requires educated guesses at the beginning of the process.  The risk factor is almost always high.

So how do you make sure to minimize the risk while evaluating ideas for patentability? Ask these 6 questions:

  1. What is the value of your idea in the marketplace?
  2. How core is it to your business and its revenue?
  3. Is it already in a product or in a roadmap for commercialization?
  4. How ‘observable’ is your idea if a competitor were to copy it?
  5. What is the likelihood of a successful patent grant on your idea?
  6. How enforceable will your patent be?

Value of your idea in the marketplace

Imagine your product on a shelf next to similar products – would the innovation get someone to buy your product? Is it easier to use, cheaper, faster, or better in a way that would motivate a purchase?

Select the idea, if you can visualize that it would make your product the preferred choice for customers. To determine this, ask if your patent is going to cover a key feature of the product? Ask if it is useful or game-changing enough to be a steady contributor to your business revenue. Will the unique product drive over the next twenty years?

Evaluating Ideas for Patentability | Q1 - Will idea make your product a preferred choice for customers?

A great way to assess how much value your idea has is by working backward from what your marketing team has to say about it. For example, the tagline for your product might be, ’It’s twice as fast as the competition!’ Work back to the innovation that enables that boast to the market. If you find that the patent if issued would protect that innovation, you know you have a winner. Having a market-driven approach is the right one to have when assessing ideas for protection. If your marketing team can’t say much about your innovation, there might be another idea more worthy of your budget. 

How core is the idea to your business?

Some ideas in your repository may be revolutionary. Some of your broadest innovation may happen in parts of the business that may have little market potential. These revolutionary ideas are not always synonymous with big profits. On the other hand, there may be ideas that don’t seem revolutionary but can protect large portions of the company’s profits. So, it becomes imperative to weigh ideas against potential profit and growth of the business that they would protect. 

Evaluating Ideas for Patentability | Q2 - Is idea revolutionary or revenue generating?

Imagine this. A leading company sells inkjet printers. But they generate the largest chunk of their revenue from ink sales, not the printers which are sold at a loss. They may have revolutionary ideas for their printers without any corresponding profit. So ideas in this space are not as valuable. However, if they were to come up with an idea to make the ink in the disposable cartridge cure quicker…knock-off replacements would smear or otherwise not have the performance of the genuine product. Not the most revolutionary idea, but definitely one that is great for the business as it protects a higher margin product.  

Apart from revenue building, there are some ideas that may be an intrinsic part of your business identity. One that is important to dominate for your brand.  Ask if this is one of them. What value, if any, will it have over the next couple of decades without that product anchoring your business?  For example, a car brand may sponsor a competitive racing team and protect their winning edge even if it may never be used in the production automobiles.  Winning races drives customers to want your cars even if they bear little resemblance.

Is the idea going to be commercialized?

There may be a ton of great ideas from your innovators, but not every idea will be an important product/addition for the next 20 years. If you cannot imagine how to put your innovation into a product, it is almost certain that there is no revenue that it will generate. Investing resources in acquiring a patent for such an idea is of no value. But an idea that contributes to a product your business currently offers or something that is just to be released automatically becomes a frontrunner. Here’s a threshold test – Are there plans to put your innovation into a product? If yes, spend your IP budget trying to protect it.

Timing is everything in the innovation to patent journey. The closer the release date of the product your idea is related to, the more valuable it is as a patent. Once your product is released in the market, the idea that it carries becomes subject to duplication and any innovation starts becoming part of the public domain. So the release of an idea into the market without patent protection could be hazardous. The bottom line is if innovation cannot go into a product, any patent would only be wall art.

Evaluating Ideas for Patentability | Q3 - Is idea related to the product about to be released?

How ‘observable’ is your idea?

Observability is a big factor as you’re thinking about ideas to choose for patent protection. Prioritizing the ones that can be observed allows ascertaining infringement should that be necessary. For instance, your company has developed a chip that goes deep into a data center used in an enterprise. Say your competitor is using this chip. How likely are you to find it out? Consequently, will you be able to assert your patent against them? The answer, highly unlikely. 

When you are looking to build your patent portfolio, look for ideas that will be readily identifiable. So if you are looking at internal processes or small innovations like the chip, it may be a better business decision to treat them as trade secrets. Unidentifiable innovation should not eat into your budget. 

Evaluating Ideas for Patentability | Q4 - Is the idea observable?

How likely is a patent granting on your idea?

It’s important to be aware of the kinds of patents being issued by patent offices. There are some technology areas in which patent offices are wary about issuing patents. For example, patent offices are reluctant to issue patents for business methods, some therapeutics and certain kinds of software. Then there are things that are not patentable at all. Genes, human-performed medical procedures, tax optimization schemes, etc. It is thus imperative to know beforehand what is patentable before investing in a patent for your idea. 

Evaluating Ideas for Patentability | Q5 - Is the Idea Patentable?

There are tools available to help you ascertain these statistics. At Triangle IP, the  TIP Tool has it on the feature roadmap! With this feature, the TIP tool predicts the Patentability Score on your innovations. This score will be based on how likely similar technology gains allowance as a patent. Knowing the patentability score shall ease out your decision-making process.

How enforceable will a patent be for your idea?

Certain technology is difficult to enforce, generally, even where a patent is issued. Courts are likely to overturn patent claims in certain cases. Software, especially abstract software concepts, business methods, and the like are difficult to enforce presently. Knowing that a patent will be difficult to enforce should be considered.

The cost of the patent should always be outweighed by the volume of profit that the patent can generate. Patenting cost includes all the resources that you will need to invest in the patent journey. Protect something valuable enough such that damages models will support enforcement of the patent.  Some innovation although great, can never overcome the cost of getting the patent.

Evaluating Ideas for Patentability | Q6 - How enforceable will your idea be as a patent?

Thinking about what damages might be enforced if it ever reaches such a stage could also be a deciding factor. The amount of damages will also be largely dependent on how your patent claims are constructed and other legal issues. A great idea that has all the potential to be a powerful patent in your arsenal can be broken if the claims are constructed improperly or if there is some other legal flaw. Read this for tips and tricks to draft a high-quality patent application

Evaluating Ideas For Patentability | Wrap Up

While this is not an exhaustive list of questions for you to consider when evaluating ideas for patentability, it’s a good place to start. More specific questions will be born from the specific needs of your business that may change from time to time. Think long term (at least 20 years) when evaluating ideas for patentability. Channel resources wisely so that money spent can result in revenue that contributes to your resource pool for the future.

At Triangle IP, we have a value field to score ideas. The value field can be 1 to 10 based on the answers to these questions.  Many of these factors can be considered and weighted according to priorities within your enterprise.

Note: The preceding is general business advice and not to be construed as legal advice. IP laws vary by country and retaining licensed legal counsel is advised to confirm this information. Any expressed or implied opinions are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Triangle IP or any other entity who might be associated with the presenter. We hope this content is helpful to you, but should not be relied upon without confirming the advice and accuracy with local legal counsel. Any comments or inquiries are not confidential so please discuss your issues directly with counsel.

5 Ways To Get Effective Invention Disclosures from Your R&D Team

Getting effective invention disclosures is a challenge if your inventors don’t engage with the innovation capture process. As an innovation manager, you need to fill the innovation funnel with potentially patentable ideas. So, what do you do?

Let’s explore what makes an effective invention disclosure and how you can get enough of those! 

Effective Invention Disclosure:

An effective invention disclosure captures the novelty, advantages, and utility of the invention. It has to be explained well enough such that those who approve patent filings can understand the invention and how it is strategic to the enterprise. To put it simply, an ideal invention disclosure clearly and precisely describes:

  • The problem that the idea solves
  • How the idea solves the problem
  • How the invention operates
  • The enhanced features in comparison to existing alternatives

How to Make Sure You Get Effective Invention Disclosures?

Here are five ways to improve the quality of the invention disclosures at your organization:

  1. Inventor-focused education 
  2. Walk it through – contextualization 
  3. Timely assistance
  4. Example invention disclosures
  5. Two-way communication between the inventor(s) and innovation manager
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#1. Training And Education

It takes training to obtain effective invention disclosures. Education should be inventor-focused. Explain the patent program and the invention disclosure form to your inventors. Provide insight into how the patent process works. Such an exercise increases engagement. 

Conduct the training at regular intervals including at new employee orientation to keep everyone updated with the patent policy of the organization. Create guidelines for filling the invention disclosure form to demystify what is needed.

An effective invention disclosure requires a summary of the invention while highlighting its unique features. Also, encourage the inventors to attach detailed documents and drawings to provide an excellent description. Graphic representation leads to better understanding. It should quickly identify the problem, solution, and enhanced features compared to the conventional solutions. The inventors need to explain how the invention works and the value of pursuing a patent.

#2. Walk It Through

Contextualization is key. Apart from training and educating the inventors on filling the invention disclosure forms, you need to explain why it is essential. The inventors need to understand that the invention disclosure is part of a larger process crucial to the success of the enterprise.

Good quality invention disclosures help to:

  • Explain the new innovation
  • Simplify the evaluation process of patentability of the invention
  • Emphasize the chances at successful commercialization
  • Speed up the process by including all essential information

When the inventors understand the motivation behind good quality disclosures, they will be keener to write them better.  The better the innovation disclosure, the more likely that their idea is approved for patenting.

Tips for Effective Invention Disclosure: Explain why Invention Disclosure is essential

#3. Timely Assistance

Ensuring quick assistance when there is any confusion will speed capture by innovators. Often the inventors struggle with completing invention disclosures as they are not used to framing their contribution in the way. Make sure the inventors know where to seek help when they need it. Your organization can either appoint in-house personnel or outsource the task to IP professionals such as the patent attorney who drafts your patents. Establishing a good working relationship between the inventor and patent attorney will give the inventors insight into the essentials requirements for the invention capture.

Tips for Effective Invention Disclosure: Ensuring quick and timely assistance

#4. Examples

Provide the inventors and R&D staff with sample invention disclosures, where patents have been obtained successfully. If the corresponding product  is well known in the enterprise, that always helps.  Keep the invention disclosure form brief and straightforward, capturing only the necessary information. Allow them to include detailed documentation for the invention and drawings separately. At Triangle IP, we have created a simple, engaging, and customizable invention disclosure form (IDF), which is downloadable in both excel and word formats. Long and complex IDFs often discourage the inventors from filing invention disclosures. A well-written sample invention disclosure can be the yardstick for future disclosures to ensure high quality. 

Tips for Effective Invention Disclosure: Providing staff with sample invention disclosures

#5. Two Way Communication

Try to understand the reasons behind low-quality invention disclosures in your enterprise. Address the issues of the inventors to tailor the process to how they are accustomed to doing things. Keep the channel of communication open between inventors and innovation managers with transparency in the process. It allows them to understand each other’s perspectives and how innovation progresses through the process. There has to be clarity about the expectations from the inventors with visibility as their ideas mature into patents. The innovation managers should also be aware of the enablers and blockers of invention disclosure to capture more innovation. The invention disclosure process has to be two-way communication.

Tips for Effective Invention Disclosure: Two Way Communication

Takeaway:

The better the invention disclosure, the easier it is for the innovation manager to push it through to a patent. The more information you can get into the process, the easier it is to evaluate and draft the patent application. The quality of the input data determines the quality of the output.

An effective invention disclosure should:

  • Provide a solid background and characteristics of the invention 
  • Contain proper technical description, which is the heart of invention disclosure
  • Explain the key terms and jargon
  • Include a list of any known relevant prior art and how the invention is different
  • Be reviewer-friendly so the value to the enterprise is clear
  • Include diagrams or other pre-existing documentation

Find out ways to encourage more invention disclosures in the organization. Don’t miss out on patent protection due to a lack of invention disclosures or poorly filled disclosures.

Note: The preceding is general business advice and not to be construed as legal advice. IP laws vary by country and retaining licensed legal counsel is advised to confirm this information. Any expressed or implied opinions are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Triangle IP or any other entity who might be associated with the presenter. We hope this content is helpful to you, but should not be relied upon without confirming the advice and accuracy with local legal counsel. Any comments or inquiries are not confidential so please discuss your issues directly with counsel.

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A Guide to Launching a Patent Incentive Program

guide to patent reward program

Innovation is anything but business as usual. Here’s a step-by-step guide to launching a patent reward program to promote innovation. 

Here’s an effective 4 point blueprint:

  1. Capture Ideas

Patents have become an increasingly vital aspect of business. In a competitive and fast-moving industry, protecting a company’s intellectual capital and encouraging innovation is crucial to the unimpeded growth of your business.  For strategic reasons, your company should carefully document innovative business-related ideas that your employees create and consider converting those ideas into patents.

  1. Evaluate Ideas

Set up a company patent committee that evaluates ideas submitted by employees, directs the filing of patent applications and manages your patent program.  Seek help in setting one up, if you do not have an in-house patent committee. Ensure that ideas are evaluated with an objective criteria to find the ideas most likely to protect the intellectual capital of the company within budgetary confines.

  1. Ensure Company Wide Participation

Invite all employees to submit ideas, using Invention Disclosure Forms.  Set up this infrastructure to ensure all employees across the board have access to these resources. Educate your personnel about the existence, availability and instructions of use of these tools

  1. Create a Reward Structure

Design a reward policy or inventor bonus to encourage ideation among employees in your company. Although every idea submitted will not result in the writing of a patent; documenting and developing these ideas helps your company focus on our innovation and competitive advantage.

Here are some suggestions on how you can go about doing this. 

Divide the patent process into phases with a different reward structure for each phase, for example:

Phase One : Submission of Invention Idea

Set out criteria and requirements for submission of an idea to the Patent Committee or equivalent. Later the committee can pick the most promising innovation for protection. An important requirement is that the inventor provides enough technical detail to allow a proper understanding of the invention. You can choose a suitable Invention Disclosure Form template to record invention details.

Phase Two : Filing of Patent Application

Criteria for an inventor bonus under this category could include filing of a non-provisional US Patent application along with signing of the requisite documents requested by the Committee by the employee/inventor. 

Phase Three : Issuance of Patent

If a patent application is successful you can give larger rewards. Criteria could include the event in which the Patent Office grants a patent without the Company abandoning the application.

The company can decide the type of rewards. Rewards can include cash reward, formal recognition or other benefits, proportionately set out for each phase. Presented below is a sample table that lays out the rewards program. 

Phase 1 : Submission of an Invention Idea

[1] All COMPANY employees are eligible to participate in the COMPANY Patent Reward Program.

[2] Patents may only be applied for by actual inventors, and patent laws heavily penalize patent holders where actual inventorship is misrepresented during the process of applying for the patent.

Phase 2 - Filing of Patent Application

[3] Where COMPANY determines to file a provisional patent application, the Phase B reward would be payable at such later time, if any, as COMPANY converts the provisional patent application to a non-provisional patent application.

[4] Phase B reward applies solely to filing of patent applications in the United States, and not filings in any other countries.  Continuation and Divisional applications are not eligible for a reward.

Phase 3 - Issuance of Patent

[5] Employee inventor(s) must cooperate in prosecuting the patent in the United States and abroad as requested by the Committee to remain eligible for a Phase C reward.

[6] Only one Phase C monetary award is possible per employee inventor per patent application filed such that any continuation or divisional of the original patent application could not result in further awards.

Let’s Sum it Up

When creating a rewards program, you must make all terms and conditions of the program clear to the employees. Inventors will scrutinize the rules so leave no room for confusion.

Let the company retain the sole right to delete, suspend, discontinue or revise any of all provisions in the company ‘Patent Reward Program’ at any time, for any reason, with or without notice.  Consider posting the latest policy on the company intranet.  The company patent committee must have the sole discretion to choose the ideas for filing as patents, choose which countries to file into, and to abandon patent applications when deemed warranted.

Remind your employees about the existence of the company patent program with an orientation at hiring and follow-up training.  Patentable ideas are among the company’s most sensitive information, and everyone must treat them with the utmost confidentiality.

At TriangleIP we have designed an intuitive drag and drop innovation management software to take care of your patent mining process. Definitely give it a try!

Infographic - Structure your own patent reward program

Note: The preceding is general business advice and not to be construed as legal advice. IP laws vary by country and retaining licensed legal counsel is advised to confirm this information. Any expressed or implied opinions are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Triangle IP or any other entity who might be associated with the presenter. We hope this content is helpful to you, but should not be relied upon without confirming the advice and accuracy with local legal counsel. Any comments or inquiries are not confidential so please discuss your issues directly with counsel.

22 Tips to Master the 5 Skills of Disruptive Innovators

Become a disruptive innovator by mastering these 5 discovery skills

History is evident that disruptive innovators have the ability to change the world for better; be it Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk…

In his farewell letter to his employees, Jeff Bezos talked about innovation being the root of Amazon’s success. “We’ve done crazy things together, he said, and then made them normal.” Steve Jobs is always remembered for his words about innovators and trailblazers about whom he says “…while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Most people say – ‘Disruptive Innovators’ are wired differently. However, I feel what we are calling as wired differently is just a capability to see things from multiple perspectives. 

Clayton has called these perspectives “Discovery Skills”, in the book “The Innovator’s DNA”. Clayton claims if you can acquire these skills, you can also think like disruptive innovators. This implies if we can teach them to our teams, we can make our organization more innovative. Let’s see what are these ‘Discovery Skills’ and how we can teach them to our people:

  • Associating
  • Questioning
  • Observing
  • Networking
  • Experimenting

Disruptive Innovators | Discovery Skill #1 Associating

Disruptive Innovators | Discovery Skill #1 Associating

Being at the cusp of different disciplines and finding ways to associate them to create ideas that are out of the box is the first discovery skill. How do you train your mind to do this?

Tip #1 – Force New Associations

Combine things that you wouldn’t usually put together. Look around your home and life and find the two most used gadgets but unlikely to be used as a single one and force your mind to make the best possible association. We are picking a refrigerator and Google Home.

Refrigerator + Google Home

Let’s of think some potential associations:

  • How about talking to the refrigerator just the way we talk to Google Home and asking – “How many cartons of milk are left in the fridge?” instead of opening the fridge and checking ourselves.
  • Or how about asking the fridge to ring a bell when your home made ice-cream is set and ready to dig into? Just the way we ask Google Home to set timers.

As a systematic approach, create a table as follows. Pick a problem(s) you are facing, identify a random item or idea. For inspiration, look around you.  Now try to come up with an association of these two. Here are some examples for your reference:

Unsolved problemUnrelated random item or ideaPotential Association
How do I get more users to download my new mobile adventure treasure hunt gaming app?Running shoesCreate a feature where the game uses the phone camera as a projector and allows the user to treat it as a VR experience. 
How do I prepare my workforce for a post covid comeback?House plantCreate a temperature controlled outdoor, socially distanced workspace where masks need not be worn. Create an atmosphere that feels safe and comfortable and makes your workforce want to be present. 
……Your turn…….………………

Tip #2 – Take on a Different Persona

Take on a different persona. Even by physically altering the way you look and dress, you can force yourself to think like someone you are not. For example, if you’re looking for design innovations with a twist of utility, dress in a black t-shirt and blue jeans for a week so you can feel like Steve Jobs. Let his association of learning calligraphy to subsequently create fonts on his computers inspire you.

Tip #3 – Generate Metaphors and Analogies

Find ways to look at things from an uncommon perspective. Use metaphors and analogies to think of products that you could revolutionize. Ever thought of an AI powered smart ceiling lamp that can watch over patients? The device being smart enough to know if the patients are sitting, standing or laying down and to call out for help if they fall down. 

List of Products (“What if” Metaphor)Possible New Features/Benefits
What if” we aren’t controlling video game characters using a remote, but with our brains? What if they just so happen to be going exactly where we want, when we wanted?Mind control gaming with increased efficiency and lesser need of hand eye coordination
Device-less, play from anywhere, unrestricted game time 
What if” 
………Your turn……..………

Tip #4 – Build Your Own Curiosity Box

Collect and put together things from your travels and explorations, things that may not be useful even. Put them together in a box to trigger your curiosity or even display them where they jump out at you everyday. When faced with a problem, look at them and allow them to let you come up with out-of-the-box solutions. 

Explore-Simulated-Version-of-TIP-Tool

Tip #5 – Use SCAMPER to Generate Breakthrough Ideas

SCAMPER! Substitute. Combine. Adapt. Magnify, Minimize, Modify. Put to other uses. Eliminate. Reverse, Rearrange. An acronym to inspire innovation and generate insight, use the concepts that this acronym stands for to rethink and allow you a fresh perspective to a problem you may be facing. 

SCAMPER ChallengeInvent a new type of Vending Machine  
SubstituteSubstitute salespersons at stores with vending machines – unmanned and cashless stores
CombineSell advertisement space by installing a screen
 
AdaptInstall QR codes/screens for digital payments
Magnify, minimize, modifyModify receiving tray to be soft and padded to minimize breakage of delicate items
Put to other useTurn traditional vending machine into fresh juicer by replacing packaged food and drink with fresh fruit and juicing mechanism
EliminateEliminate the keypad to punch in codes for products. Maybe use a touchscreen for product selection.
Reverse, rearrangeInstead of taking stuff out of a vending machine, humans get inside and use it as plug and play office

You might also like to read this post on “Innovations in Aerogels With SCAMPER”.

Disruptive Innovators | Discovery Skill #2 Questioning

Disruptive Innovators | Discovery Skill #2 Questioning

Questioning is the art of learning. Questions seek and frame and expose. Answers change over time, with varying degrees of accuracy and subjectivity. But ask the right questions and you will be amazed how the doors to innovation open. 

Tip #6 – Engage in QuestionStorming

When brainstorming finds you caught in a rut, try QuestionStorming. When you sit down together as a team, ask What if, What caused, Why, Why not, What is questions. Write down every question and once listed, prioritize and discuss the most important or intriguing ones to find better solutions.

Tip #7 – Cultivate Question Thinking

When discussing products and/or innovations within your company, convert your statements into questions. By reformulating statements into questions, you will find not only do the problems you are facing become clearer and help members of your team feel responsible for solutions. Teach your team members in the orientation session about the first principle of thinking. You would love reading this one too – “7 ways to Encourage Innovative Thinking at Your Workplace”.

Tip #8 – Track your QnA Ratio

Keep tabs on your Q&A ratio. Studies have shown that disruptive innovators ask more questions than give answers. And more often than not, good questions generate greater value than good answers. 

Tip #9 – Cultivate your own Question Bank

Maintain a record of your questions as your own written question bank. Keep revisiting these questions to identify patterns and categorize the kinds of questions you are asking. When you do, question your own questions to disrupt your thought to lead to better innovation.   

The table below will help you ask the right questions. 

 Describe the TerritoryDisrupt the Territory
Innovator’s DNA SkillsWhat is? Who? What? When? Where? How?What caused it?Why? Why not?What if? How might?
Observing    
Networking    
Experimenting    

Ask more questions when you go through your question bank. Question your questioning patterns, try and understand which questions generate emotional responses, see what kind of questions lead you best into disruptive thinking patterns.   

Disruptive Innovators | Discovery Skill #3 Observing

Disruptive Innovators | Discovery Skill #3 Observing

Whether it was Einstein with his theory of Gravity or Galileo measuring time with a pendulum; all innovators, thinkers and makers had something in common. They noticed, they observed and they theorized. Observation is the bedrock of innovation. It is where innovation starts. 

Tip #10 – Observe Customers

Observe the people you are making your product for, the existing customers. Observe how these customers experience your product. Look out for what they enjoy most about your product, and look out for what is leaving them dissatisfied about it. Is there a functional connect only or is your product leaving your customer emotionally connected? 

Tip #11 – Observe Companies

Identify a company you like, or one that inspires you. It may be a blue chip company or a trailblazing start-up. Dig into its hows and whys and think of ways you could incorporate its ideas into your business or product. 

Tip #12 – Make Observation a Habit

Set time aside everyday to observe. Make it a task in your daily to do list. Set aside a few minutes each day to observe the world around you, or a part of it that catches your fancy. Note down (this may even be photographs and videos on your phone) your observations and review them every once in a while. 

Tip #13 – Observe With All your Senses

Observe with more than just your mind. Whether you are observing customers, another company or the world around you, observe with all your senses. Make it a habit to see, taste, hear, smell and feel every experience. Make notes about what responses various experiences trigger in you. You never know what explosive idea is hiding under a whiff of something!

Disruptive Innovators | Discovery Skill #4 Networking

Disruptive Innovators | Discovery Skill #4 Networking

Idea networking is about you stepping out of your comfort zone and engaging with people who have thoughts that may be different from your own. Fresh thoughts, ideas and perspectives are a powerful arsenal to carry in your toolkit. 

Tip #14 – Expand your Network Diversity

If you are the smartest person in a room, you are in the wrong room. So, like Tony Robbins says, surround yourself with people who are successful, who are forward-moving, who are positive, who are focused on producing results, who support you, it will challenge you to be more and do more and share more. If you can surround yourself with people who will never let you settle for less than you can be, you have the greatest gift that anyone can hope for. Expand the diversity of your network. Engage with people of different ages, socio-economic backgrounds, gender, profession, industry, countries. 

Tip #15 – Start a Mealtime Networking Plan

Don’t have the time to expand your network? Start doing so over a meal. Have a meal with someone in your organization or social circle you never would ordinarily. Step outside your comfort zone if you have to to engage with a person you may not always agree with. 

Explore-Simulated-Version-of-TIP-Tool

Tip #16 – Plan and Attend New Events Each Year

Attend conferences and seminars as an opportunity to network and learn alongside. Choose a couple of conferences/seminars to attend in a year – one in a subject that interests you and another that is outside your comfort zone. This is a great way to meet people with different perspectives.

Tip #17 – Foster a Creative Community

Become part of, or better still, initiate a creative community and meet regularly to nurture ideas beyond your workplace. Invite outsiders to these meetings to get fresh ideas. Let the people you invite be a healthy mix of experts and novices so you can draw on both experience and raw enthusiasm. Train with the experts and let the exuberance of newness ignite your passion.

Disruptive Innovators | Discovery Skill #5 Experimenting

Disruptive Innovators | Discovery Skill #5 Experimenting

Experimentation is fundamental to get insights and new knowledge and in relation to innovation, experimentation is usually seen as a “search for new value”, a journey to innovation.

Tip #18 – Cross Physical and Intellectual Borders

Changing spaces – both physical and intellectual help you break out of routine and fixed mindset. Visit new places – museums, libraries, parks. Join new professional or recreational activities, attend lectures, take an online class or indulge in art. Subscribe to content from different contexts and different geographies. When you open yourself up to alien information, you will see yourself shift from a routine mindset to a hypothesis-testing mindset. 

Tip #19 – Invest Time in Developing a New Skill

Find something you are passionate about beyond your work. Turn it into a skill that you work to develop. It could be painting or photography or ballet or yoga. If you don’t want to go that far, identify another function in your company and explore it deeply.

Tip #20 – Disassemble a Product and Build a Prototype of an Idea

Have something old at home that is gathering dust? Turn it into a weekend repair project. Take it apart, study it and try to reassemble it. Have something at home that you think you could make better? Engage in a product improvement project and turn it into a prototype! Play-doh and Lego are great to create prototypes with your kids and to initiate them into innovation early. 

Tip #21 – Be Regular with Piloting New Ideas

Pick up ideas from the idea books you are maintaining and make a commitment to yourself to carry out a pilot test of one of those every month. If it doesn’t work the first time, experiment on it the next time with a small tweak here and there.

Tip #22 – Go Trend Spotting

Stay up to date with the happenings around you and constantly be on the lookout for emerging trends. Look into the future with the resources you have today and try and think of how you can ride the trend wave.  

Let’s Sum It Up

In sum, remember to keep moving. Remember you don’t have to be born an innovator. You can join the league of disruptive innovators. And while you’re on the innovation treadmill, let Bezos’ words ring loud – “Keep inventing and don’t despair when at first the idea looks crazy. Remember to wander. Let curiosity be your compass. It remains Day 1.” 

Read Next: “How To Seek Investment Using Patents?

Want to get more invention disclosures at your enterprise?

Download this inventor friendly ‘Invention Disclosure Form‘ by TIP today!

Note: The preceding is general business advice and not to be construed as legal advice. IP laws vary by country and retaining licensed legal counsel is advised to confirm this information. Any expressed or implied opinions are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Triangle IP or any other entity who might be associated with the presenter. We hope this content is helpful to you, but should not be relied upon without confirming the advice and accuracy with local legal counsel. Any comments or inquiries are not confidential so please discuss your issues directly with counsel.

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Innovations in Aerogels – SCAMPER for Idea Generation

Innovation in Aerogels - SCAMPER - Idea Generation

Learn how innovations in aerogels by Blueshift, Graphene, Krosslinker, Kalwall and …. can help you come up with the next generation of technologies.   

Looking for some inspiration to generate ideas in Aerogels? You have reached the right spot! In this post we are not just sharing an actionable idea generation technique; but something far more than that. The technique we are covering is called “SCAMPER” and the bonus that we are giving here are the innovations in aerogels. ‘Aerogel’ – one of the most fascinating materials on earth.

What is SCAMPER?

Bob Eberle proposed the SCAMPER technique in his book – SCAMPER: Games for Imagination Development in 1971. You would be surprised to see that it’s not outdated yet and can still help you draw a lot of value.

The word SCAMPER is an acronym for 7 brainstorming methods. With each method, you need to answer specific questions about an existing product or idea to explore something new. Let’s take a look at these 7 methods:

MethodWhat you doWhat questions you ask
SubstituteThe focus of this method is to find alternatives. You substitute a part of the existing idea with something else to create a new thing. Which ingredient can you replace without affecting the solution?

Can you substitute people, time, or place for improving the quality?
CombineYou focus on combining 2 (or more) existing things to result in a better idea.Can you combine a new element into an existing product and improve?

Is it possible to merge 2 or more existing processes to create something new?
Adapt During this method, you stress on adapting a part of or the whole existing product or process in a better way.Can you adapt a new process or technology to the existing product?

Is it possible to adapt a process to improve the speed or results?
Modify (magnify or minify)Try to change the size, dimensions, quantity, or frequency in the existing product, process, or problem.Can you add extra features?

Is there a benefit in increasing or decreasing the frequency?
Put to other useThis process helps you to tinker if you can use your product or process in some other unexpected way?Can you use your product differently?

Is it possible to target another market for the product?
EliminateWhen you use the ‘eliminate’ method, you focus on getting rid of a part or process that may not be beneficial.What can you eliminate from a product or a process?

Is there a way to get rid of the harmful parts?
Reverse (rearrange)In this method, you explore if any rearrangement or reverse technique like upside down or inside out with the product helps get new results?What if you go backward?

Can you reverse a process and get results?

The table above shares a few questions for each technique. Feel free to download the exhaustive questions list for all the 7 techniques.

We are in awe with aerogels and hence chose aerogels to explain SCAMPER. From the first commercialization of aerogel, it has been a topic of fascination among scientists and researchers. And, we are no exception!

If you are an industry veteran from the Aerogel industry, I would recommend you skip to “SCAMPER – The Idea Generation With Innovations in Aerogels” section, as we are going to start with First Principles – explaining from basics.

What Is Aerogel?

Aerogel is a synthetic porous ultralight material. It is the lightest solid on earth; an aerogel block of a car’s size would hardly weigh 1 kg. What makes aerogel so interesting are the properties it exhibits in various conditions.

For instance – aerogels have super high thermal resistance. Look at the picture below – A flower is on a piece of aerogel which is suspended over a flame from a Bunsen burner. The flower remains protected from the flame due to aerogel.

Source – wikipedia

Apparels stuffed with aerogels can keep you warm even under a storm of liquid nitrogen (-321°F / -196°C). That’s how magical it is! The post explores 7 breakthrough innovations in aerogels in the following sections – keep reading!

Who Invented Aerogel? | An interesting Story

The inventor, Samuel Stephens Kistler, made the first aerogel somewhere in 1931. His associate and friend, Charles Learned, had a bet with him to replace the jellies’ liquid without shrinking. Kistler removed the fluid and filled the air using the supercritical drying method. The technique is not as simple as it sounds. Kistler took many years and long research to make the first aerogel.

Why We Picked Aerogel To Explain SCAMPER?

MarketsandMarkets reported last year that the aerogel market would reach a share of $1045M by 2025. During the forecasted period of 2020-2025, it would register a CAGR of 10.4%.

What keeps the demand so high is the applications in the energy, construction, and transportation sectors. The need for thinner, lighter, and economical aerogel would drive the growth. Emerging players are challenging each other for novel ideas and growth, keeping the aerogel’s field vibrant. While nonorganic silica has been the most prominent base material thus far, the carbon in organic material is also quite popular now. Start-ups are exploring eco-friendly routes to produce aerogel, as well.

The end products of aerogel are available in many forms like blankets, monoliths, granules, and powder. Here is a tree structure by IDTechEx to help you understand the base materials and available forms of aerogel.

Different types of Aerogels and the terminology

Source – IDTechEx

Having so much innovations in aerogels going on, how could we not dive in the ocean of aerogels to pull out some pearls for you? TriangleIP believes in democratizing innovation so that we can help more people innovate. So here we are sharing different models that you can use to generate more ideas. 

So, let’s learn SCAMPER with examples of aerogel based products and companies.

SCAMPER – The Idea Generation With Innovations in Aerogels

Of all the companies working with aerogels, we chose 7 promising works, based on their innovation technique that aligns with one of the SCAMPER methods. 

Substitute Like Blueshift

Traditional aerogel is made up of silica, which makes it brittle. Such aerogel can fracture under high pressure. Blueshift substituted the silica with polyimides polymer to create a highly flexible aerogel. Trademarked as AeroZero®, this aerogel makes good tapes and laminates. The strength, insulation, and flexibility make it versatile for various industrial purposes.

Innovations in Aerogel - Blueshift - Substitute
  • Aerospace and defense use AeroZero® due to its high insulation and cryogenic properties. 
  • Electronics and telecom fields have adopted AeroZero® because of its lightweightness. 
  • The semiconductors industry uses AeroZero® as it performs uniformly between temperature -200 °C and 250 °C+.

How incredible, isn’t it?

Imagine substituting one of the core materials to solve the existing problems when you think of an idea generation technique. 

Combine like Graphene Composites

“Innovation is taking two things that exist and putting them together in a new way.” – Tom Freston, Co-founder, MTV

Although Graphene Composites (GC) makes composites for aerospace, which are lighter than the carbon-based parts and have higher strength, their armors are worth talking about.

GC combines graphene with aerogel to produce the strongest, lightest, and resilient GC Shields as ballistic armors. These shields disperse the impact of a bullet or stab more effectively than other armor. GC Shieldshave been tested with various rifles, shotguns, and knives.

These mobile shields come in different sizes. They can fit in a school bag or be obtained in a bigger size to protect the full torso. A pack of shields combined to make a wall offers group protection during an attack. GC Shield™ Curtain protects active shooters in large and open spaces.

Innovations in Aerogel - Combine - Graphene Composites

Graphene Composites stands out among companies working with aerogel due to their unique product. Combining two products to offer new benefits is a great way to innovate. What can you combine to create a new product worth interest?

Adapt Like KrossLinker

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw

Do you know 1 out of 5 vaccines spoils during transit in the supply chain? 

KrossLinker came up with an innovative approach to package bio-pharma products. These pharma products are temperature sensitive. Many vaccines and biologics like blood, human organs, vaccines, and drugs suffer from the lack of the proper packaging. The traditional Styrofoam packaging spoils these biologics due to temperature fluctuation and dust.

Then existing aerogel products couldn’t stand up to the fabrication challenge of cold-chain biopharma. First, the production speed couldn’t stand the demand and affected the vaccine cost for the end user. Dusty aerogel products pose contamination risks to biologics. 

KrossLinker took the challenge and innovated aerogel packaging for biopharma products. They solved the dust issues with the silica aerogels. Their products are thin, leading to smooth fabrication. Their technology produces aerogel boards 3x faster and at 50% lower production cost. Owing to low energy consumption, carbon footprints are lesser, too.

SCAMPER - Adapt - Krosslinker - Innovation in Aerogel

Adapting an existing process to solve a burning problem: just the right approach to innovating. And KrossLinker did the same.

Modify like Cabot Corp

The Cabot Corp’s idea of using aerogel powder in cosmetics reflects the ideology of ‘modify’ in SCAMPER.

Aerogel has a remarkable absorption capacity—quite useful to soak moisture and oil from the skin. Hence, if added in the powder form, it’s beneficial to enhance cosmetic functioning.

A skin product renders a matt finish by soaking the oily layer from the skin. Aerogel’s addition helps maintain anti-caking and free-flow properties in skin and beauty products. Also, it helps retain the fragrance.

Innovations in Aerogels - Modify like Cabot Corp

A small touch of aerogel to the beauty products magnifies their properties. What are your thoughts on modifying an already available product and coming up with a new idea?

Put To Another Use Like Kalwall

Aerogel by nature is translucent with a blue tint. Kalwall used this property of aerogel and made use in construction for good daylight trapping in massive structures.

While maintaining the buildings’ aesthetics, their structures make the indoor ambiance cozy and conducive to living. They offer museum-quality daylighting™, Skyroofs®, skylights, canopies, and walkways with aerogels. Not only are these products great for natural lighting, but are also great as thermal insulators.

Another benefit of using Kalwall’s design system is, they help the tenants and owners save on energy expenses. The carbon footprints of these buildings are also low. Kalwall panels also claim to be self-cleaning and resist UV rays.

Innovations in Aerogels - Kalwall - Put to Another Use

Putting a product in a different market is a risk. But a little resilience and perseverance can bring success; Kalwall has proved this.

Eliminate With Bronx Culture

While manufacturing aerogel, Bronx Culture might have thought about one question: How can we achieve the same or better aerogel without superfluous byproducts? Or simply put: what can we remove in the process to make the end product equivalent or better?

Using the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) technique of making aerogel with cellulose fibers, Bronx Culture has developed Oryza Aerogel. Cellulose fibers are obtained by mulching the paper. NUS’s manufacturing process generates zero byproducts, saving the landfills from paper wastes.

Oryza Aerogel has no crystalline silica dust in the residues. This means a safe working environment for workers by minimizing the hazardous effects due to inhalation and contact.

Innovations in Aerogels - Bronx Culture - Eliminate - SCAMPER

Bronx also eliminated eco hazards by adopting green and eco-friendly manufacturing processes. The NUS technique consumes less energy and lesser hazardous chemicals. Paper that goes otherwise into landfills is now a source of aerogel.

Isn’t it time to go green and eliminate environmental perils in our innovations, just like Bronx Culture?

Rearrange Like Dunlop Racquets

“If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.” – Charles Kettering, Inventor

When Dunlop decided to manufacture racquets using aerogel, they might have one question in mind: How can we rearrange the current structure for better results?

Dunlop rearranged the design and structure of their racquets to provide more strength and shock absorption. Due to its extreme strength and lightweight, aerogel was a perfect answer to making the racquets better.

The company placed aerogel strategically at 2, 5, 7, and 10 o’clock positions in the racket’s hoop. This increased the size of the sweet spots and spiked the stability of the racquets. These racquets also have Dunlop’s patented Aerobridge technology. Aerobridge is a dampening system, which cancels string vibration. For this, they use an aerogel sleeve in the throat of the racquets.

Innovations in Aerogels - Dunlop Rackets - Rearrange - SCAMPER

The design has helped players win world titles. Rearranging or reversing a technology like reverse engineering is a proven and old style to handle problems and works well in many fields. 

What is one thing you can rearrange in a design or even look in the reverse direction to solve a burning issue?

Let’s Sum it Up

SCAMPER, time and again, has proven to be useful for problem-solving and innovating worthy products. The best part of SCAMPER is that it forces you to question the status quo and as you know best the breakthrough innovations come when you challenge the status quo. 

Do try it in your next R&D meeting. Whether you work as a one-person team or in a group, idea generation this way is systematic and result-oriented. So, which of the 7 methods are you choosing to solve a problem? Tell us in the comments section; we are open to brainstorming. Feel free to download the questions list for all the 7 methods by filling the form below!

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Invention Disclosures | Enablers and Blockers

Do’s & Don’ts For Invention Disclosures

Not enough invention disclosures?

Your patent program may fall apart if your inventors are not submitting enough ideas to feed the pipeline toward patenting. The underlying reasons could be anything; from lack of inventor motivation to the process being confusing.

The progression of an idea from the invention to the patenting needs to be a systematic process with steady and sustained flow through the various stages. It starts with invention disclosure or capture where you would need your inventors to disclose their new innovation.

Let’s do a deep dive into the first step—Invention Disclosure and how you can begin a successful patent program.  

The Invention Disclosure / Idea Capture Form

Simply said, an invention disclosure form (IDF) captures an invention and surrounding details with the intent of possibly patenting. 

Invention Disclosures | The Blockers

Ad-hoc Process

Many companies don’t have a set process for filling IDFs. Some companies use simple forms for invention disclosures, and others have an online equivalent. Tracking of the IDF workflow might use makeshift approaches such as spreadsheets. Sometimes the only process happens with emails. 

Each of these processes has one or the other drawback as listed below:

  1. Non-intuitive for inventors without easy collaboration
  2. Possibility of loss of data in transitions with little transparency
  3. Long and complex forms act as a friction intimidating innovators
  4. Lack of real time updates on the progress from idea to patent

The Reluctant Inventor

Inventors like to create, but their disinterest in long forms is a hurdle. Sometimes, the inventors are too busy with other priorities and other times they shy away from the lengthy process.

There is a possibility of lack of motivation too for inventors to fill the IDFs. Either they are not aware of the importance of patents or there is not sufficient incentive attached with the disclosure process.

Long and Complex Forms

Inventors do not receive instruction on the patent process in university and don’t understand what information should go into the requested form fields. Vague questions frequently create a practical barrier for the first-timers, and a busy inventor might lose interest quickly for a tedious form. Eventually, a lack of guidance to fill out the right information also hampers an inventor’s interest.

Lack of Recognition

Have you motivated your inventors enough to fill an IDF? Positive reinforcement helps.

Those who are less familiar with technical documentation and publishing papers are more reluctant to fill out long forms. Tracking who is submitting ideas into the process and providing positive feedback helps socialize the importance of the patent program.

Lack of Awareness

Often, inventors simply aren’t aware of the patenting process, and they don’t know the benefits of protecting their innovation. Even if companies have a patent training course for their employees, maybe it only happens once a year. Ideally, the awareness starts with hiring, during orientation and should be reinforced frequently.

Sometimes, inventors harbor false perceptions of patents from the wrong sources. Explaining the strategic reasons for the patent program helps socialize the importance to enterprise success. Most companies are loath to enforce their patents as that would scare away participation.  Explaining defensive patent portfolio strategies that discourage others from preemptively suing while enhancing shareholder value with intellectual asset creation are more easily embraced strategies.

Invention Disclosures | The Enablers

You must sufficiently motivate the inventors to avoid the loss of patentable ideas. The unprotected innovations are given to the public domain if a patent is not quickly filed.  Here are a few tips to encourage engagement with the patent process:

Culture Change & Awareness

Conduct regular training for the inventors and IP teams. Educating new employees about the benefits of invention capture and how the complete process can improve your IP portfolio. Explain the strategies for building a patent portfolio. These are great opportunities to also invite industry experts to speak in internal forums. Consider workshops around innovation to motivate people further.

Explain the process clearly and as interactively as possible. Make available an IP expert(s) that inventors can seek out for guidance.

Rewards & Recognition

Creators need the motivation to spend time engaging in the process. Offer a bonus at different stages along the way to getting a patent. In addition to monetary bonuses consider giving them other rewards such as, certificates, manager recognition, and a voice in internal newsletters.

Seek Only What’s Necessary

The process of capturing innovation from inventors should have minimum friction. Long and complex forms discourage engagement. Hence, in the first go, seek only the necessary information with the IDF. 

Title

The title should be a one-line concise description of the invention.

Email

The form should capture the inventor’s email address for follow-up. Contact information about any manager or prosecutor would be a plus.

Summary

The summary should be focused on the following three most important things:

  1. Technical problem the invention solves
  2. Scientific or technical solution – the invention itself
  3. Advantages over existing solutions to the subject problem

Attaching existing diagrams, presentations, and other documents that add clarity towards understanding the invention better.

Keeping all the above in mind, we have designed the idea capture form with a very simple and intuitive approach via the TIP tool (an innovation management software) at TriangleIP. 

To download the Invention Disclosure Form, request below!



Download IDF in Word Format



Download IDF in Excel Format

The form limits necessary fields only to the invention title and inventor’s email. It also has a summary section where the inventor fills out the invention details in a problem-solution-benefits format. Don’t forget to tag your disclosure with keywords to make later searching and sorting easier.  The form further has few additional fields for subjective value, patentability estimate and any filing deadline.  Attach any file that provides more detail on your invention such as white papers, presentations, recordings, videos, etc. .

Here is another good read for you – “7 surefire ways to get more invention disclosures“.

Wrapping Up The Do’s & Don’ts For Invention Disclosures

The first step to creating a successful patent program is to set up a systematic process to capture ideas and manage their journey to patent protection. Invention disclosures are the beginning point in this program. Encourage your inventors to fill the disclosures by:

  • Keeping the process intuitive
  • Incentivizing the process of writing and submitting disclosures
  • Training the inventors on the importance of IP
  • Creating a culture of innovation that seeks to produce regularly
  • Simplifying and socializing the innovation management process

With these tips, we hope your inventors fill your capture program with an abundance of IDFs to feed your patent program.

Beyond the use of the downloadable IDF form we provided above, the TIP tool by Triangle IP can help you manage your patent program with it’s simple workflow and drag-and-drop features. Additionally, the tool is soon going to offer various analytics that can enhance patenting decision-making. Definitely give it a try! 

Note: The preceding is general business advice and not to be construed as legal advice. IP laws vary by country and retaining licensed legal counsel is advised to confirm this information. Any expressed or implied opinions are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Triangle IP or any other entity who might be associated with the presenter. We hope this content is helpful to you, but should not be relied upon without confirming the advice and accuracy with local legal counsel. Any comments or inquiries are not confidential so please discuss your issues directly with counsel.

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7 Surefire Ways To Get More Invention Disclosures

7 Ways to Get More Invention Disclosures

“Getting more invention disclosures is an uphill task since inventors and paperwork usually do not go together very well.”

If your organization is not able to get enough invention disclosures from your inventors, you are not alone. People are not eager to engage with things they do not understand. Long, complex forms are just that kind of thing. Inventors are busy people. Their main job is innovation and development, not paperwork.

Inventors often completely forget to report their inventions for patenting because of their busy schedules. Sometimes, they think that the invention is too obvious and they don’t report it at all. As a result,  the innovation managers may lose potentially patentable ideas.

The first step is to get inventors to capture more innovation using an invention disclosure form. Furthermore, when inventors fail to submit invention disclosures in a timely manner,  it leads to the patenting process being rushed. All too often enterprises approach me just before the launch date, seeking help for patent protection at the eleventh hour. However, as discussed below, there are ways to solve this problem.

More Invention Disclosures

Here are 7 ways you can get inventors to submit more invention disclosures:

  1. Training inventors on the importance of IP to socialize the process
  2. Keeping the invention capture process simple and understandable
  3. Ensuring the availability of IP experts in-house or from outside on a contractual basis
  4. Formulating an incentive program that encourages inventor involvement throughout the entire process
  5. Making participation in the IP program part of the inventor’s job description
  6. Evangelizing of the patent program from the executive level down
  7. Making the creation of IP a core part of the organisation’s culture

#1 – Training and Socialization

Training and educating about the importance of idea capture and the ways to fill the invention disclosure form (IDF) efficiently is essential. An IDF helps your organisation begin the process to decide which inventions are patentable and worth pursuit. The information in the IDF also documents information that will help evaluation and drafting of a patent application. 

Conduct interactive sessions with the inventors to explain the invention disclosure and patent process. Also, your organisation can circulate samples of properly filled forms where the patents have been granted successfully. Consider publishing guidelines for filling out the form or recording training for all new hires to understand the innovation program.

#2 – Simple & Engaging Process

As stated above, people do not engage with intimidating things they do not understand. The process for filling out an IDF needs to be simple and avoid unnecessary complexity. It has to allow the inventors to gather their thoughts about the invention and express them easily. 

One of the ways to increase engagement with the disclosure process is by having online disclosure forms. Electronic forms can be reactive and adaptive depending on the answers.  It also can provide helpful tips and allow collaboration with all parties involved.

Whether the IDF is online or not, it should aim to document only the necessary information to initiate the process. Invention disclosure mainly requires the inventor to accurately describe the technologic  problem and solution along with advantages of their invention over prior solutions. To avoid intimidation, the disclosure form needs to be as short as possible with simple language. The key elements of an intuitive and inventor friendly IDF are:

  • Title of the invention
  • Inventor’s contact information
  • Summary of the idea / invention including: 
    • The problem that prompted the creation of the invention
    • The solution provided by the invention
    • The novel and/or enhanced features in comparison to previous similar inventions
  • Detailed diagrams, flow charts, drawings etc. explaining the working of the invention are great too
  • Attaching any pre-existing documentation will help

Ask your inventors to answer these basic questions in order to make the drafting of comprehensive patent specifications easier. Proper invention disclosure will ensure a hassle free patent prosecution process. 

At Triangle IP we have created a simple Invention Disclosure Form, which we also call an Idea Capture Form. It skips the complex questions that need answers at later stages of the patent prosecution process. There is also the option of adding tags, which can be helpful later to filter ideas.

Triangle IP Idea form / invention disclosure form
The Idea Form At TriangleIP

If you wish you can download the idea from using the form below:

#3 – Availability of IP Experts

Your organisation can also explore the possibility of employing in-house Intellectual Property (IP) professionals who can help the inventors with the process. If employing a full or part-time in-house IP professional is not possible, then you should identify and engage outside IP professionals.  There are consultants, patent agents and patent attorneys who are well versed in the innovation capture process. Conducting seminars with the help of IP experts once or twice a year can be beneficial too. 

#4 – Incentive Programs

When there is a lack of incentives to participate in the patenting process, inventors do not feel the need to pay as much attention to filling out IDFs. Encourage the proper disclosure of inventions by providing inventors with varying monetary incentives at different stages. These programs vary in their incentive while paying for engagement through the patent process. For example, award incentives at the following stages of the process:

  • Upon submitting the IDF
  • When the invention is selected for patenting 
  • At the time of filing the patent application
  • Upon grant of the patent(s)
  • After the inflow of revenue from the invention
Incentive program for inventors to motivate them to submit more invention disclosures

#5 – Participation in the IP Program.

At the time of hiring engineers, software developers, scientists, and other innovators, your organisation should set clear expectations for them to participate in the patent program. Include a specific question regarding employee’s contributions to the company’s patent program in any self-evaluation / annual review. This encourages participating and eventually submitting more disclosures. 

Explore-Simulated-Version-of-TIP-Tool

#6 – Evangelists for Patent Programs

The top management of your organization should remind employees of the importance of the patent program. They should encourage inventors to submit an IDF as soon as an idea is conceived. Management endorsement and reminders assure the patent program will succeed. This priority will spread to the rest of the employees at the company. Without buy-in from top management, a patent program cannot be successfully implemented in your organisation.

#7 – Innovation-Driven Culture

Your organisation should make the process of invention disclosure and patent prosecution worth the inventor’s while. Your patent program should not be a burden on the inventor. IP awareness and protection should be a cultural thing, which is structured properly and decorated in its policies. Integrating IP strategy into your business policies fosters innovation, for example, the employee handbook. An effective patent program will properly protect your innovation.

Download this short, simple yet powerful Invention Disclosure Form to help you with your disclosure process

Conclusion

A simple and engaging invention disclosure process with the right training and motivation for inventors will help your organisation to:

  • Capture more invention disclosures
  • Decrease innovation that never gets documented
  • Expedite the process of filing patent applications
  • Documents innovation with knowledge capture
  • Provide your company with all the benefits of patent protection

Create a culture in your organisation where inventors understand the importance of patents and are enthusiastic about the process. To get more invention disclosures, train inventors to accurately fill out the IDF while socializing the program. A proper capture process helps identify all the ideas which can be transformed into patentable inventions. 

The IDF needs to be simple and engaging. At Triangle IP (TIP) we have created an intuitive drag-and-drop innovation capture tool to take control of the patent mining process while encouraging collaboration. Using the TIP innovation management tool will maximize innovation capture at your organization.

7 surefire ways to get more invention disclosures

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Innovation Management Software | Ideas To Patents

Designing A Winning Innovation Management System

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 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

You can download the Invention Disclosure Form below:



Download IDF in Word Format



Download IDF in Excel Format

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. 🙂



Note: The preceding is general business advice and not to be construed as legal advice. IP laws vary by country and retaining licensed legal counsel is advised to confirm this information. Any expressed or implied opinions are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Triangle IP or any other entity who might be associated with the presenter. We hope this content is helpful to you, but should not be relied upon without confirming the advice and accuracy with local legal counsel. Any comments or inquiries are not confidential so please discuss your issues directly with counsel.

TIP Tool is free for your whole team

No credit card required. No setup fees. No need to download.


Get Started Now