J. Jaya Murthy
Innovation and Intellectual Property enable businesses to stay ahead in the market place. Businesses that invest in innovation around their products and processes are often faced with the challenge of managing them, so that they are able to monetize these innovations. Here, we will look at a case study to explore and understand the impact that innovation can have on Intellectual Property (IP) and patenting specifically, and how such innovation can change the product itself. Then we will look at two case studies to understand the impact innovation can have on companies – a case where innovation mattered and how it was successfully managed, and an instance where innovation management was not successful. Finally, the author discusses the lessons learnt from these case studies.
Innovation has become an important facet of business in today’s world. According to the definition of innovation in business terms – Innovation is the process of converting an idea or invention into a product or service that creates value or for which customers will pay; and this idea must be replicable at an economical cost and must satisfy a specific need. There are many innovation ranking forums and websites that try to simulate and forecast which company will bring out the most innovative product(s), which can change the way the world operates. While disruptive technologies are few, incremental innovations are many. Forbes ranks companies worldwide on their innovation matrix, and publishes a ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’  Top 100 list every year . Forbes has several parameters and algorithms to identify the most innovative companies. The key message is – innovation is now an important parameter to assess the ability of companies to function and succeed in the market place.
Innovation contributes to the growth of the business and provides a competitive edge to the products or services. However, leaders often challenge innovation at the initial stages of discussions and many ideas get lost, along with prospective business benefits. If innovations are listed on every boardroom agenda by showcasing how a structured approach towards innovation management can lead to new business models and pockets of growth, then strategies to identify value propositions can evolve  in order to exploit and grow existing markets, and to explore new markets of growth .
Businesses that invest in innovation around their products and processes are often faced with the challenge of managing them, so that they are able to adequately monetize these innovations. Management of the innovations also needs to ensure legal protection for the inventions that are generated during technology development and innovation processes. Even though innovation is one of the major determinants of business success, greater benefits can be reaped from innovation when the full range of intellectual property (IP) protection available to businesses is considered. Effective use of the tools of the IP system reduces risk and facilitates the process of taking innovative technology to the market place, while at the same time enhancing   the competitiveness of technology-based enterprises .