The rethinker's firm and the second battlefront: A follow-up to Bill Meade's guest post

Posted by J Matthew Buchanan at October 27, 2005 09:44 AM

We told you Bill Meade “gets it.”

Bill is a fascinating individual who is truly passionate about the development and management of intellectual property.  We consider ourselves lucky to have met him and are looking forward to building on our relationship.

Bill provided us with the Proactive Invention Management article last week — I bet I’ve read it ten times.  His description of proactive invention management as “a war with two fronts” is dead on.  Unfortunately, many organizations don’t recognize the need to deal with both fronts, or, if they do recognize the need, they choose to fight the war only along the first front — the one between the inventors and the IP department.  This choice might be made for any of several reasons, not the least of which is budgetary in nature.

The mantra of these single-front organizations:  Increase disclosures!  Increase disclosures!  Increase disclosures!

Battling that front without addressing the second front — the one of IP capacity — is trouble in the wings.  This is particularly true if you begin to actually win the battle on the first front.  All of a sudden, the organization finds itself with “full access to the genius of the organization,” (Bill’s wonderful language) only to learn that it can’t efficiently process the genius….and valuable intellectual property is lost.

The answer?  As Bill states so aptly – you need to rethink IP business processes and IP business model management.

Now you can see why we’ve grown so fond of Bill.  Not only does he “get it,” but he’s courageous enough to “rethink it.”  Yep, he’s a rethinker, and we love rethinkers.

What can we add to Bill’s article (and theory)?  Simply this — outside patent counsel can help an organization fight the war on the second front.

No, I’m not talking about opening the billables floodgate and adding a massive amount of capacity to the IP department.  That would simply be throwing money at the problem.

I’m talking about help with the rethinking part.

We’ll elaborate more on this in future posts.  For now, consider the following:

  • A rethinker’s firm will help you cast a critical eye on your processes…and is courageous enough to return the favor and continually reevaluate its own processes.
  • A rethinker’s firm will help you implement changes to your processes…and will follow-through on proposed changes to its processes.
  • A rethinker’s firm will offer ideas on how to increase the efficiency of the relationship.
  • A rethinker’s firm will help you build specialization…and will spend some of its own money in the process.
  • A rethinker’s firm will offer technology solutions that actually improve your processes, not just the latest, must-have, keeping-up-with-the-Jones & Co.– technology.

In short, a rethinker’s firm will help you with the rethinking.

Look for more on this topic in the future, and more from Bill as well.




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