In a recent article, we outlined the role of IP in the innovation process. In particular, we noted that the innovation process can be conveniently described as having 4 main stages, namely:

  • conception of innovative ideas,

  • the research and development (R&D) stage,

  • commercialisation of products or services, and

  • the marketing of those products or services.

The process may also include iterative aspects and is often cyclical in order to continually produce new product and service offerings to the market (the so-called “cycle of innovation”).

We noted that the involvement of an IP professional is critical at each stage of the innovation process, for example to provide advice on: legal (confidentiality) agreements, prior art searching and analysis (patentability, freedom to operate, competitor and landscape mapping), trade mark and design registrations, patent strategy (including advice on when a trade secret vs patent protection is appropriate), and enforcement matters.

We also noted that, through collaboration with our colleagues in our affiliated intellectual asset (IA) advisory firm, Glasshouse Advisory, who come from legal, accounting and finance backgrounds, Shelston IP can offer additional assistance relating to:

As the activities undertaken at each stage of innovation are different, it follows that the IP considerations are different at each stage, too. It also follows that the relevant advisory services highlighted above will be different at each stage. Accordingly, it is useful to summarise the stages of innovation and the main forms of IP that are relevant at each stage, and to identify what additional intellectual asset advisory services may be appropriate at each stage. In this regard, we refer to the following document summary:

Summary of the 4 stages of innovation