It is important to identify the IP that is created or used in an organisation.
If it is not identified:
- it cannot be protected,
- it cannot be commercialised, and
- no value can be realised from the IP.
You cannot do much with IP if you do not know that it exists. You cannot:
- manage it,
- protect it,
- commercialise it, and
- realise value from it.
There are many reasons that an organisation may fail to identify the IP that it creates or uses:
- an organisation’s staff may not necessarily realise that something is IP;
- its staff may recognise that they have knowledge to get their job done, but perceive that it is part of their skills and experiences, and do not appreciate that after they leave (retire, change of employer, illness, or absence from work), someone else cannot do their job;
- its staff do not appreciate the boundary between skills (theirs) and IP (their employer’s);
- its staff may believe that the IP belongs to them, not their employer;
- its staff may identify valuable knowledge, but do not know who to report it to in the organisation; and
- IP is recognised, but its value is not assessed nor appreciated.
The identification of IP will be easier if an organisation:
- regularly undertakes IP awareness training with its staff, and
- has well-known and documented procedures for staff to report IP that they create to a responsible person in the organisation.