Intellectual property and business plans

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A business plan is a strategic document providing details on how a given innovation is going to be commercialised and brought to the market by an existing company or a newly created venture.

Since the scope of the business plan is to describe not only the business logic behind the commercialisation plans, but also the assets and resources that will make the business successful, the definition of a strong intellectual property (IP) protection and management policy and the business planning exercise are strongly interconnected.

First of all, the IP owned by or accessible to the company owners will strongly influence the business model chosen for operating on the market. Secondly, the business plan will typically refer to intellectual property (IP) and intellectual property rights (IPR)-protected elements to describe the company's unique specificities and the assets and resources that can be called upon for establishing win-win collaborations with clients, partners and investors. Finally, the comparison of those assets with the IPR owned or likely to be acquired by both clients and competitors are to be considered key indicators of the commercial viability of the business and should influence its strategic positioning inside the broader ecosystem.

IP should therefore be taken into consideration both when drafting the global strategy that will be described in the business plan and when actually writing the document itself.

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