Let’s set the record straight.  Tracking data is not managing your intellectual property.  Tracking data is a tool, one small component to intellectual property management.  Too many organizations confuse tracking with managing (and so do the sellers of IP management software.)  Tracking data can get you a list of your patent applications at a moment’s notice.  IP management is about how you decide what gets put into that database in the first place.

Managing your intellectual property consists of setting up systems and processes throughout the organization that allow you to plan, make decisions, and leverage your intellectual property.  It’s about avoiding risk and adding value to the bottom line.  Some of those systems and processes are automated, like data tracking software, but all that data only gives you a sterile snap-shot of the assets you have at a given moment in time.

The best IP management systems and processes are people driven.  People plan and make decisions. You can’t outsource or automate planning and decision-making.  An attorney can get you a patent, but only you can decide what it’s going to do for your business.

IP management is not so much about capturing your intellectual property.  It’s about how you capture that IP and what decisions you make about that IP.  Good luck getting those answers out of your database.