An effective, iterative IP marketing process begins with revisiting the decision to proceed with marketing. This first step might seem odd, given that the “go” marketing decision was informed by an assessment. But in most cases, there is a lag between when you decide to market a technology and when you can market a technology (e.g., once a patent application has been filed). In the six months or more that usually have elapsed before marketing can start, the economic climate can change dramatically or the “shelf life” of the innovation may now be a factor. Pausing to confirm that the “go” decision is still valid helps ensure that your limited marketing resources are focused on the right commercialization opportunities.
A good starting point is to evaluate whether the information obtained during the assessment process still accurately represents the perspective of the target licensees:
- Who the ideal target licensees for this particular technical innovation are
- Why a prospective licensee would be interested in licensing this technology
- What the specific features, functions, and attributes are that make this innovation compelling
Here are several steps that we recommend for validating the “go” decision without expending excessive resources:
- Review the assessment and evaluation reports that have been generated by your Tech Transfer Office;
- Review the invention disclosure and other more recent disclosures from the inventors—particularly those filed since the assessment was conducted;
- Briefly review relevant papers, presentations and publications from the inventors, focusing on identification of potential commercialization opportunities;
- Confirm the current IP protection status of the innovation;
- Identify key milestones by which commercialization interest needs to be secured;
- Research the requirements and expectations regarding any relevant industry technical standards that will impact or influence commercialization opportunities; and
- Consult briefly with experts within your professional network for additional background and insights that will enhance your marketing plan.
Once this has been done, you can confidently begin to outline your marketing outreach and campaign strategy, scope and approach –a process that will be described in a future post.
Have you been in situations where this type of reevaluation has served you well – or where you wish you had done it?
–By Jack Spain
Posts in the “IP Marketing Is an Iterative Process” series:
#1: Introducing the concept of agile marketing
#2: Validating the “go” decision
#3: Developing the marketing plan
#4: Executing the marketing plan
#5: Checkpoints for the marketing plan
#6: Getting the deal