With the speed at which technologies are advancing, and considering the consumer-driven demand for these new advancements – the need for technology companies to innovate and drive competitive advantage is greater than ever. But with this investment in the research and development fueling this innovation, businesses must be able to protect their Intellectual Property (IP).
In order to do that, companies must invest in the resources and processes to protect the new technologies, solutions and ideas that are driving differentiation against their competition. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, global spending on R&D has reached a record high of almost $1.7 trillion. An update to the Department of Commerce’s 2012 report, "Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus," found that IP added $6.6 trillion in value in 2014, or 38.2% of U.S. GDP. And according to a report from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office titled, "Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: 2016 Update" 45 million U.S. jobs and more than 50% of all U.S. exports are accounted for by IP alone.
This massive investment in R&D warrants a complementary investment in IP protection.
Given the potential alternative for tech companies, understanding and dedicating resources to IP protection is critical to monetizing your own innovation – as the fastest way to lose your competitive edge or the road you’ve paved toward success is by allowing others to capitalize on your ideas.
As we’ve seen with the recent decision this week around Google and Oracle, where Google will now owe Oracle billions of dollars (likely to eclipse the largest copyright verdict ever, previously $1.3 billion) for infringing on copyright law – business are stepping up to protect their IP – and offenders (no matter their size) should and will be held accountable.
How can you protect your IP?
- Patent what may be important to your competitors or customers in the future, not just what matters you right now
- Work with an attorney who specializes in intellectual property – or if you have a breadth of valuable IP, hire a Chief Intellectual Property Officer
- Investigate international patents if you or your competitors do business globally
- File for your patents quickly, being first matters
- Proactively structure a professional and experienced IP team
- Set up rigid IP management internal processes to ensure all patent registration, monitoring and approval are handled in compliance with law requirements
In order to succeed, tech companies must constantly innovate – so the need to up the investment in innovation, and vigorously defend this R&D investment via patents and protecting these patents once secured is essential. As more companies start to respect IP, they will place greater importance on protecting their own IP and we will see this trend continue to grow.
Placing importance in protecting IP and patents should encourage companies to continue to invest in R&D. If a company can simply steal another’s technologies and use it in their own products – there is no incentive for companies to build their own R&D programs. Why would anyone then continue to spend time, money and resources on R&D? The most fundamental goal of technological innovation is to increase the revenues for the business. Innovations in new technology cost money, but also create value. The companies that hold the rights to those innovations, through their hard work, deserve the benefits and return on that investment.
Article by Nancy Zhang, Chief Intellectual Property Officer, Coolpad
Coolpad is one of the top global mobile device brands focused on bringing affordable, reliable products with the best user experience to global consumers. We have been operating globally since 1993 and expanded into the U.S. market, headquartered in San Diego, California, in 2012 with strong product quality and clear value proposition. We believe that a consumer should never have to choose between quality and affordability, and pride ourselves on the ability to provide cost-efficient, powerful, and reliable mobile devices. We strive to bring a smart mobile ecosystem backed by artificial intelligence with value-packed technology in new categories, including wearables, IoT, AI, and accessories.