If your R&D department is like most, you have very creative people working diligently to solve problems. However, you may wonder why you don’t see more invention disclosures coming from such bright, creative people. Typically, the documentation of inventions occurs on the initiative of the overworked scientist or engineer. They are being pressed to meet their project goals, move to new projects, or fight "fires" instead of being provided time and encouragement to document their inventions. This results in potential inventions bubbling away and not being documented. You are losing valuable intellectual property and don’t even know it!
You can fix this and increase the number of inventions disclosed by proactively harvesting inventions from the R&D staff. When IBM initiated this, they went from receiving hundreds of invention disclosures to thousands per year. When Dow Chemical did this they created the most highly cited patent portfolio in the plastics industry while protecting a new billion dollar business. When you get more disclosures, you can be more selective about which inventions to file as patent applications. This will result in a higher value patent portfolio.
ipCapital Group uses the process initially developed at IBM to harvest inventions in targeted technologies. The systematic process includes asking specific questions of key technical staff to extract inventions across four dimensions. The inventions are captured in a proprietary software tool and then analyzed across many parameters. The client’s IP Review Committee can then readily review a prioritized list of inventions for action. The benefit to the inventors is that they only have to spend documentation time on inventions the IP Review Committee truly thinks are valuable.
If you would like further explanation of how proactive invention extraction could work in your organization please contact Bruce Story at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (802) 859-7800 ext 212. More information can be found at www.ipcg.com.