We are now in a time of uncertainty due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and we do not know how long this period will last. While most people are now working from home and it is easy to fall into a routine of just watching TV all day, now is the perfect time for a company to take this relative “down time” to review, build, and expand upon its IP assets.
Certainly not an exhaustive list, but below are three ways a company can use this time strategically to plan for the next phases of its development.
First, mine your notebooks for new IP ideas. I credit one of my clients with this idea. Review all the data and research generated over the past year or two that you previously did not have time to review. You never know what interesting information you missed the first time around because you were simply looking at the main findings. These jewels of information could provide valuable support for upcoming patent applications or could provide ideas for new patent applications and inventions all together. Take this period to really review your data and information and find new ideas or new uses for that information.
Second, review your landscape studies and strategically map your ideas. Landscape studies can be an important source of information for companies. These studies not only provide a glimpse of the “state of the art” of a particular technology space, but they also show you what opportunities exist for further development. As with the previous point, you may not have had time to thoroughly review your landscape studies initially, or you may not have even conducted one, but now is the ideal time to review those studies and get ideas of what you can work on next. Moreover, reviewing your landscape studies can provide additional insights into the new ideas you found from mining your notebooks. Either the landscape studies will reveal players who are already working on those ideas, or it will reveal open space for you to explore. Either way, reviewing your landscape studies can provide new ideas for further development.
Finally, explore potential partnerships. Based on the new information you found from either mining your notebooks or reviewing your landscape studies, you may have ideas for exploring potential collaborations with others in the industry. Another benefit from landscape studies is that they reveal who the main players are in a space, including companies and inventors. You could use this time to reach out to players in the space and explore ideas for development. For instance, if your company specializes in antibody discovery, but lacks expertise in developing vaccines, you may explore collaborations with a company that has that vaccine expertise. With many companies pausing clinical trials and halting projects, now is a good time to reach out to those companies and explore new ideas.
While it is easy to get distracted by the turmoil around us, I encourage companies, including startups and aspiring entrepreneurs, to take this time to review and reflect upon all the information that they have generated and brainstorm ideas that can either be used to support their existing IP, or ones that can turn into new IP.
BioPharma Law Blog posts updates and analyses on IP topics, FDA regulatory issues, emerging legal developments, and other news in the constantly evolving world of biotech, pharma, and medical devices.