Intellectual Property Life Cycle: A Guide for Chinese In-House Attorneys and Business Leaders
A strong intellectual property portfolio can be one of a company’s most valuable and important assets. The keys to building a strong intellectual property portfolio are internal education and the establishment of an efficient framework for intellectual property identification and management. The four primary phases of the intellectual property lifecycle are: (i) Creation and Identification; (ii) Decision to Protect; (iii) Protection Process; and (iv) Leveraging of IP. Without a system in place for first identifying intellectual property that warrants patent protection (or is better kept as a trade secret), valuable intangible assets may be unintentionally lost. Once a decision to protect is made, decisions must be made on where to seek protection and what types of protection to seek. The protection process can take anywhere from months to multiple years depending on the jurisdiction and can be made more efficient and cost-effective by use of standardized forms and documents and centralized docketing. Once patents issue, there are multiple ways that intellectual property can be leveraged including, but not limited to, out-licensing or litigation if appropriate and resulting monetary damages or injunctive relief against competitors. This presentation covers each of these four primary phases of the intellectual property lifecycle in detail.