Partnerships, alliances and joint ventures may be the right answer to these situations. The concepts of Open Innovation by Henry Chesbrough offer us even more options. Think through all available assets and strengths in relationship to other parties when considering the value of an idea. In virtually all cases, you have more assets than your portfolio of patents and other related Intellectual Property (IP). Often you will become aware of many more opportunities.
Supported by your enhanced awareness of your assets, it will be easier to select the right partners and create the outline of a win-win situation. Yet, the translation of this joint opportunity into a formal contract that governs the innovation and commercialization cycle turns out to be a significant obstacle.
The situation is particularly complex when commercial parties collaborate in a complete “horizontal” relationship, i.e. they are active in the same technology domain, their core competences touch closely and are both eager to increase value through the creation of IP. Can a contract take away concerns regarding the commitment towards the necessary R&D investment, while being flexible enough to deal with future change in market situation and progressing understanding of the technology under development? And once completed, is the eventually created mutual dependency truly in the interest of the company? Based on extensive experience, ThinkThrough can assist you with these questions.