What’s your game?
Most of the businesses are becoming global and technology-driven, companies everywhere are facing pressures to be on the cutting edge. And this is not just true for the small pharma companies even the largest pharmaceutical companies are facing the same issues.
Additionally, During the last decade, Pricing and early access to promising new therapies have become highly publicized and political issues. This has created a challenging external environment and further compounded the difficulties already inherent in drug discovery.
Developing new drugs and treatment is not easy, and it can no longer be done alone. Today, if we look at the pharma companies the partnerships are becoming the new standard. Pharmaceutical companies have explored various collaboration models starting from shared Centre of excellence, sponsored research, co-marketing, networks, open innovation, IP Licensing/. Technology Licensing, Contract R&D, Joint Venture to Asset Acquisition or divestment, etc.
However, the choice of Models for Collaboration is a strategic decision and involves the right diligence in the decision-making process. Companies need to assess the gaps in the portfolio, know how, capability or capacity and consider options for filling those gaps through the right collaboration model.
In these collaborations, Intellectual property is the glue that holds all the different players across the innovation landscape together, providing them with the confidence to invest safely in intellectual production, innovation and creativity and the security that their market position will be protected against misuse or misappropriation. Therefore it is important to ensure that the rights of innovations/assets being created are properly protected. This again can be accomplished using different ways. But The first step is to develop an IP strategy for the company.
A company’s intellectual property rights could be forfeited or reduced in value if it fails to take the necessary steps to protect its technology and developments. These intellectual property rights can range from patents, copyrights and trademarks to trade secrets, trade dress and source code, and everything in between.
Protecting intellectual property is not a one-time action; it is an ongoing process that must be adhered to and managed during all phases of a company’s existence, from conception through exit. Of course, the nature and extent of the protection will depend on various factors, including, for example, the company’s business, the market, product lifecycle, available cash, type of products, likelihood of infringement, ability to reverse engineer, and the company’s ability to enforce.
Depending on the nature of the company’s business and the market in which it operates, one can modify its patent filing strategy to address its concerns regarding competition and the ability to enter new markets to allow for growth and expansion of the business. The key is to
- devise a well-crafted IP strategy
- protect IP at the earliest, especially before the product is put into the market
- periodically review IP portfolio to conduct a cost benefit analysis
- have an IP enforcement strategy
There is a saying that “intellectual property is only as valuable as the effort you place in enforcing your rights.” One should constantly monitor the market to make sure that third parties copying or imitating your IP are identified. An insight into the competitive landscape relating to the nature of the technology being developed, the people and companies involved in developing the technology etc. may give clue about potential infringers. Company’s licensees, distributors, agents, and manufacturers/partners could help in tracking that.
Monetizing and unleashing the full worth of IP assets can create value for the company. Whatever is your game, it might help to devise the right IP strategy that works for the business and for those it seeks to serve.