Intellectual Property Deals Need a “Wingman”

Intellectual Property Deals Need a “Wingman”

Envision a world where workplace technology can serve as your “wingman.” What’s a workplace wingman you ask? It’s a super cool, digital assistant that’s always on – on the lookout to help you get your job done more efficiently, connect you to the most important people in your profession, or provides insights into topics that matter most.

 

In Intellectual Property (IP), the wingman can also be a matchmaker that seeks licensees or buyers for your intellectual property 24/7, or tees up the hottest news or trends that is associated to getting your IP deals done.

 

We all know that “humans don’t scale” – a term always bandied about in the tech world – but, with a digital wingman, you could have what feels like hundreds of helpers looking out for you. I have spent several years in the intellectual property space and observed several key issues endured in the workplace:

 

  • All IP professionals are overworked and have too many IP asset portfolios to manage
  • Current IP tools are geared only for research or IP is forever lost on a marketplace listing site
  • Not all IP professionals are comfortable connecting with deal stakeholders

 

These 3 issues all rely on the “human” factor, which does not scale. Priority of IP asset portfolio marketing is often performed as a “best guess” or simply given attention to those portfolios that are easily understood. IP should not be considered a “pet project.” It has a shelf life. Missed opportunities means lost revenue. Missed connections could lead to budget cuts in research and development. At worst, company innovation slowly dies.

 

Today, IP professionals are struggling to effectively and quickly reach the primary objective of IP licensing: “closing the license deal” (sometimes called tech transfer or commercialization). There are a myriad reasons as to why the final goal is not reached. Strategic processes may not be in play, from underutilized best practices to under incentivized employees. But a simple tool that is scalable and performs as a wingman can mitigate strategic issues, provide clearer market value, and add confidence by lowering the rejection level when implementing licensee outreach.

 

IP match technology should be used to objectively surface the portfolios that are “low hanging fruit” or closest to a deal. The matcher finds these portfolios by determining market viability – or verifying if there are actual licensees/buyers in the world that would be interested in the IP. The matcher, always on, assists where humans cannot scale:

 

  • It can incorporate an IP asset portfolio into the hundreds or thousands
  • It can find thousands of licensees – well beyond the IP professionals known “rolodex”

 

More importantly, the matcher solves these pain points automatically, without burdening the IP professional with additional tasks. The matcher operates by analyzing the portfolio’s content and intent, then translates that information into licensee business objectives. Once business objectives are understood, the matcher suggests potential licensing companies seeking or operating within those objectives, industry, or even within a cross-functional industry.

 

Those portfolios with the most licensing candidates, would surface as the top priority or potential to close the deal. Much like a match dating site, the licensor could instantly evaluate potential licensees, read their profiles, and determine who they want to communicate with (licensee outreach). If the licensee accepts the licensor’s outreach, then the licensee and licensor go on a date (meet and discuss deal terms). Now the licensor knows exactly when and with whom to start their research and due diligence, self-assured they are concentrating on the right deal.

 

Match.com claims that their customers are 3 times more likely to enter into a relationship by using their technology than those who do not. The match concept for IP provides market information fast and efficiently, without interrupting the licensee or licensor’s current commercialization processes. If time kills deals then speed makes them successful. With similar odds and efficiency of a dating website, can the enterprise afford not having their wingman?

John Leonard

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