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While many companies understand the importance of investing in innovation, they often fail to realize how managing intellectual property (IP) is essential to ensuring long-term success. To address this issue, Harvard Business School offers Intellectual Property and Business Strategy. Taught by world-renowned faculty from Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School, this Executive Education program helps you maximize the value of your firm’s IP investment.

As a previous program participant shared, “My firm invests in energy-related technologies, so IP is important to every one of our investments. The strategy-focused case studies put the learning into perspective, demonstrating that sometimes the most obvious approach is not the best one. You have to think through the problem from many angles to come up with a good strategy. Where is the profit going to be made? Where might margins deteriorate? Cases from other industries exposed me to new issues and approaches I would not naturally have thought of.”

Recognizing that IP is driving today’s technology-based economy, savvy companies are leveraging their intellectual property to differentiate products, protect margins, create barriers to entry, sustain first-mover advantage, and drive innovation.

Corporate knowledge, capabilities, and relationships are essential to value creation, and can be safeguarded in a number of ways. For example, companies can seek patents, file copyrights, protect trade secrets, or create trademarks.

Successful companies encourage the integration of IP management with their broader corporate strategy. By effectively joining legal counsel and business managers, they can unlock IP value by systematically mining legal and strategic considerations. From a practical standpoint, managers must deepen their understanding of U.S. and international patent, copyright, and trademark laws, while attorneys must have clearer views of how the company makes money and what drives its business strategy.

Protecting your company’s IP has far-reaching strategic implications that influence your competitors, the return on your R&D investments, and, ultimately, the bottom line. Having your best legal and strategic minds look at these issues from multiple international perspectives is the best way to maximize IP value. For more information on the program, read the description on Harvard Business School’s Executive Education site now.


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