Until now, intellectual property (IP) has been viewed in the same light as other forms of property. Indeed, if we look at the websites of bodies such as the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the following is offered as an answer to the question, “What is Intellectual Property?”:
“Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.“
Throughout history, intellectual property has been viewed simply as the assets realized through the process of creative innovation. However the time has come, to take a broader view of intellectual property. It is time for a new understanding of intellectual property within a competitive commercial environment.
The strategies and tools used to develop, build, maintain, and realize value from “creations of the mind” owned by a company must be included in this broader view. Examples are:
The strategies and tools used to discover, and defend against, the threats posed by the “creations of the mind” owned by actors external to a company must also be included in this broader view. For example:
Therefore, within a commercial environment, IP encompasses:
When IP is considered using this new and broader perspective, a company is able to both improve the return on its IP assets and better prepare for the challenges posed by its competitors.