Strategic Management of Intellectual Property

The emergence of the pro-patent era in the US in the 1980s is symptomatic of a transition towards intellectual capitalism. As a consequence IP issues have entered the agendas of strategic management in industry at large, while being previously handled by specialists in the periphery of management attention. As a result there are often missing links be- tween IP strategies and business strategies. This paper presents a conceptual framework for IP-strategies, technology strategies and business strategies, which can be used to link these levels of strategic management. In particular the paper illustrates various patenting strategies in technology space and over time, together with some results from a study of corporate practices in Japan. Finally the paper introduces the wider notions of multipro- tection and total IP-strategies as an approach to analyze all elements of a business and how to match them properly with all available IPR types. The ultimate function of strate- gic management of IP is then to build up the total value of an IP portfolio as part of the company’s intellectual capital.

Key words: Business strategy, management, R&D, technology, innovation, patents, intel- lectual property, intellectual capital, licensing.