A question confronting every manager or engineer who handles intellectual property (IP) issues, or the attorney working with this person, is: What is the most appropriate IP protection for a particular technology, concept, or idea?

Although this protection question can, and should, be answered by your company’s IP department or counsel, they are generally not in a position initially to identify and analyze the IP opportunities.  As a practical matter, the IP department or counsel cannot actively and continuously search the company’s engineering and marketing departments for technological innovations and ideas warranting IP protection.

The managers and engineers who are valuable contributors to the company’s overall profitability identify IP opportunities that a company can obtain and commercialize.  They use an analytical framework for approaching each IP situation to determine the appropriate type of IP protection for the particular technology, concept, or idea.  For more information about this framework, please click The Protection Analysis Model.