I was recently asked by a company leader if I think patents should be a part of a company strategy, or should patents be a tactic used to increase protection and increase profit.
I am often asked for some real world examples showing where patents really make a difference in a company’s upward trajectory.
Forbes recently wrote about the rebirth of Columbia Sportswear, an outerwear brand we are all likely seeing daily during these winter months.
The company started in 1938 and by the early 2000s was a more than recognized brand. However, Columbia became recognized for being “that brand” that makes inexpensive fleeces for big name retailers.
Now that we are in the midst of the end of the year holidays, I am certain many of us are thinking of gingerbread, peppermint, hot chocolate, and cookies. But, how many of us are thinking about innovations as well?
Quirky was a crowdsourcing company that has been held up in the past as THE invention crowdsourcing model. The front page of its website is bold: “Our mission is to make invention accessible. We believe everyone can be an inventor, and invention can happen anywhere.”
Striving for Meaningfully Uniqueness is a foundation of Innovation. And most often Meaningfully Uniqueness is equated with the standards of patentability.
But what about portions of your innovation that perhaps cannot be patented? What about Meaningfully Uniqueness in your marketing and branding?
After a decade and a half of working with patents, I still have people who will approach me with their “million dollar idea.” As a Leader, how do you determine what next ideas brought to your desk should be pursued?
It is actually not as hard as you think, as all you need is more of the right information. And that right information is free and available within your organization.
Often I have seen where Leadership is told an idea - much like I am by inventors. Of course, it is often just that - an “idea” or a concept, but nothing that has ever been made tangible. And making the invention tangible in some way is critical to understanding if the idea actually works and how the parts (or steps) interact.