Invention and IP Management – Overcoming Today’s Obstacles

OVERCOMING TODAY’S OBSTACLES – BE BETTER PREPARED FOR THE FUTURE

R&D and Legal Teams around the world are currently in a situation they could not have imagined just a few short months ago, the entire R&D and Legal staff quarantined at home.

If you are reading this, you most likely are encountering some or all of the obstacles of managing your innovation, invention and IP management processes when everyone is separated and working remotely.

You understand the obstacles you are experiencing, you now have a greater awareness these issues existed prior to the stay-at-home orders, they were just not as noticeable or easier to work around.

Have you recently found yourself wishing for a safe and secure solution that helps you efficiently manage all of your invention and IP processes no matter where you are or how separated your team members are?

  • A system your inventors can securely access, collaborate with other team members, and submit ideas and invention disclosures including all documents and attachments with no risk of losing sensitive IP through email interception, hacking or unintentionally sending to the wrong addressee.
  • A system that automatically notifies and routes submitted IP to the appropriate individuals, again without email risk, or the need for emerging IP to be stored on additional computers, especially home computers.
  • A system that organizes all new submissions for review and allows tasks/deadlines to be assigned to the submitter/s for additional information requests.
  • A system that automatically notifies and routes reviewed IP to the next phase of your process, such as the Patent Review Board, again without email risk. No need to send the invention disclosure form and attached documents to all members and risk the storage of emerging IP on even more computers, all information is stored and accessed in one secure system.  There is no need to store the IP on individual laptop or desktop computers.
  • A system that allows each Patent Review Board member to review the submitted IP, optionally complete a customized analysis with questions that can be weighted by importance and scored, enter private Board Member Only notes, and vote on the disposition of the IP.
  • A system dashboard that securely displays all Patent Review Board Members’ analysis, private Board Member comments and votes, expediting the review and disposition of IP with or without an actual on-site or on-line meeting required.
  • A system that can safeguard IP as a Trade Secret, or automatically notify and route an approved invention disclosure to inside or outside counsel for patent filing. Again, without email risk, counsel is notified to simply log on to review the approved invention disclosure and associated documents.
  • A system that tracks the progress and status of all IP through the invention review, patent application and patent life-cycle, providing inventors, R&D staff and Legal Team with instant status updates and award notifications.
  • A system that tracks and records all system activity on all IP, allowing you to see and record when and who has accessed, viewed and modified your IP. An extremely valuable tool, especially when information is being remotely accessed.
  • A system that can keep your R&D staff, whether they are on-site or at home, focused on the opportunities and challenges that are most important to the corporation. The ability to broadcast “Challenges” to your R&D staff to submit ideas/inventions that will help solve the problems and capitalize on the opportunities that will help your company overcome obstacles, achieve goals and profitably thrive into the future.

We welcome you to discover how your company can overcome the current stay-at-home obstacles and better prepare for the future with a system and automatic workflows that allow your innovation, invention, patent review and IP management processes to efficiently and safely thrive whether your employees are in the office or working from home.  Please feel free to contact us at 412-489-5900 ext 4 to discuss in further detail.  Please click below for additional information.  For the white paper, please click on the White Paper Icon in the upper right hand corner.

A Sample Invention Disclosure Workflow Process

Process can be performed with employees working remotely

Customizable to your Process

INVENTION and IP MANAGEMENT made SIMPLE!

Learn more about some of the time-saving benefits of INNOVATOR Enterprise

THE INVENTORS

The inventors are the drivers for your process. While inventing is critical to your organization’s long-term success, the process of creativity is something that can’t be forced. Give your inventors all of the tools they need to simplify the process and improve participation.

Our Inventors Portal is designed to give inventors what they want, like a draft/private mode, duplicate searching, reward tracking, and easy progress monitoring.

Key Features for Inventors include:

  • Invention Disclosure Forms customized and standardized to your business enable your inventors to provide consistent submissions.
  • Auto alerts insure all fields are completed before forwarding for review and witnessing.
  • Draft or Private Save Options allow the inventor to save the invention disclosure to complete or forward at a later time.
  • Forwarding disclosures for witnessing or manager review is fast and easy. Automatic forwarding can be based on a multitude of factors, such as, technology, department, location, etc…
  • Advanced searching capabilities, duplicate checking, and the ability to link innovations together make life easier for the inventor.
  • The Inventors Portal allows inventors to conveniently manage and track their inventions.  The portal makes it easy for the inventor to track the progress of each disclosure through the entire patent review process.
  • Tasks are easily managed on the Inventors Portal.  Reviewers may have questions or need additional information from the inventor.  The reviewer can simply assign a task and due date requesting the information.  The task will appear on the “My Tasks” section of the Inventor’s Portal.
  • Inventor Rewards are easily tracked on the Inventors Portal.

THE PATENT REVIEW TEAM

The Patent Review Team is the heart of your IP decision process. Their expertise and speed are what determines not only the volume, but also the quality of your invention pipeline. Making sure that submitted inventions are “reviewer ready” reduces wasted time chasing down inventors for additional invention information, details, and insures completeness.

Our solution also provides your patent team with the analytic engine and tools to expertly review and prioritize incoming inventions, guaranteeing a high-quality stream of intellectual property.

Key Features for Patent Review include:

  • The INNOVATOR Enterprise is fully customizable to accommodate your invention disclosure workflows, processes, forms and analysis procedures.
  • Using our flexible business process workflow engine, nearly any patent review process can be configured, whether it is hierarchical, linear or a combination.  Rules that determine how and when disclosures are moved between various review committees can be manual or automatic and help speed the process.
  • Based on your business rules the system can automatically prioritize inventions to speed the review process for those inventions that will provide the highest return on investment.   Due dates can be automatically or manually assigned to expedite the review process for high priority disclosures.
  • Invention Disclosure forms arrive complete, saving time and money.  The system’s auto alert feature insures all fields are completed by the inventor before forwarding to the review committee.
  • The Patent Review Committee Dashboard contains the latest information regarding tasks, comments, analysis results, and related attachments.  Information is presented on a single page, facilitating a streamlined review process.
  • Collaboration and communication is easy.  Collaboration between inventors, review committee members, IP Department, outside counsel, and other groups, all controlled with the highest level of security, creates a dynamic and interactive environment for your Intellectual property.
  • Tasks to be assigned to inventors, review committees and others in your organization are managed from the dashboard.
  • Tasks are created either automatically based on a pre-determined workflow, or manually.

Patent Review Committee Analysis, Review and Decision Process Workflows – Read below for details:

Invention Review

Breakthrough ideas will only create new value and revenue if you’re able to capitalize on them faster than your competition. However, speed requires that you minimize “non-core” innovation so that you can match your resources with the most promising projects.

By giving form, discipline, and structure to your review process, MindMatters Solutions helps you avoid costly false steps, misdirected energy, and other inefficiencies. We help you manage your innovation resources wisely and profitably.

Performing timely reviews is one of the most important aspects of an effective innovation management program.  With extensive review committee functions, it has never been easier to manage the entire review process.

Review Committee Process and Workflow

The scalability and flexibility of the INNOVATOR Enterprise Review Committee processes and workflow is unmatched in the industry.   

  • Using our specialized business process workflow engine, nearly any review process can be configured, whether it is hierarchical, linear or a combination.  Rules that determine how and when ideas are moved between various review committees help speed the process.
  • INNOVATOR Enterprise is customized to your decision processes – simple or complex – it doesn’t matter!
  • Review Committees can be established by department, location, business unit, type of innovation, idea or solution, type of Timed-Challenge™, etc…
  • Inventors, experts, key decision makers, others can make up a Review Committee, and virtually an unlimited quantity of review committees can be established.
  • Review Committees can be customized to your review process – multiple departments evaluating the same idea working in parallel. Example: Finance, Engineering and Marketing evaluating the same idea simultaneously with different review criteria – or a linear progression by which each idea must pass a more stringent review evaluation at each stage before moving to the next.
  • Different review processes for different departments, locations, business units, innovations, challenges, etc…
Analysis and Review
  • Measure your innovations against the standardized question set established by your organization. This provides a standard against which all submissions are equally compared.
  • Unlimited sets of analysis questions can be established based on the type of innovation under review, and the scope of the review committee – Legal, finance, engineering, marketing, etc…
  • Inventions can be forwarded for analysis to “Experts” or others for a more diverse sampling of analysis
  • To make improvements to your decision process, sensitivity analysis can be used to determine which analysis factors have the most impact, so that your decision process continues to become more streamlined and efficient.
  • Using your evaluation criteria, your defined decision process and workflow, and your experts – INNOVATOR Enterprise makes your decision process easy and accurate.

THE IP DEPARTMENT

The IP Department is ultimately responsible for the entire invention process. Do you have visibility into your current workflow? How many inventions are in process? How long is it taking to be reviewed? What does your portfolio look like?

Our Intellectual Property Portal gives you access into the entire process and provides advanced tools such as family management, advanced reporting, IP management, and dashboard statistics.

Key Features for the IP Department include:

  • The INNOVATOR Enterprise provides your IP Department with visibility into the entire Invention Disclosure process.
  • The INNOVATOR Enterprise provides all the information the IP Department needs to efficiently and effectively manage the company’s Invention Disclosure review and decision process, as well as, manage and safeguard all of your intellectual property.
  • Collaboration and communication is easy with INNOVATOR Enterprise .  Collaboration between internal employees, external contributors, outside counsel, and other groups, all controlled with the highest level of security, creates a dynamic and interactive environment for your Intellectual property.
  • IP management is advanced by allowing “family” relationships between inventions, patents, agreements, NDA’s, and ideas.
  • The INNOVATOR Enterprise tracks every change made to the invention disclosure to provide an accurate audit trail for management.
  • The Snapshot feature takes a “snapshot” or unalterable time-stamped picture of the invention disclosure or other IP at any point in time to make a permanent record of the document. Snapshots can be automatic based on pre-programmed events or taken manually.
  • Understanding what is in your IP portfolio is important.  Advanced reporting and portfolio management reports deliver the information you need when you need it.

White Papers

We've created a proven set of best practices for innovation, product development, and invention & intellectual property management. Visit our White Paper Library.

Case Studies

Read about how our clients have improved their innovation, product development, and invention & intellectual property management processes.

More Information

Would you like more information on our proven process?  SCHEDULE A DISCUSSION ONLINE, or call us now at 412-489-5900 x4.

Demo

The best way to truly understand how our solutions can increase the Return on Investment of your product development and invention efforts is to contact us for a DEMO! 

John Stowell, Director of Innovation, Zep Inc.

"StageTrak is very customizable to your needs. Once it's up and running it's pretty intuitive. It's much simpler to operate than most of its competitors."

"We avoided $750,000 in cost in North American alone last year because we're being more selective and going after better intellectual property."

Kelly Teemant

"Flagpole offers novel social marketing techniques to partner and collaborate with the National Poison Control Center community."

VP Science & Technology, PPG Industries

"The MindMatters solution is the catalyst for generating growth opportunities and new sources of revenue."

Tom Mauss, Chief Executive Officer

"We were impressed with MindMatters’ entire Step by Step Innovation process. They helped us identify areas where we might fail, and successfully navigated around those obstacles."

"Our R&D idea submissions have tripled over the whole of the previous year."

Gregg Edwards, Chief People Officer

"Allows us to not only capitalize on the brilliance of our employees, but also to collaborate on organizational issues in a much more engaging, satisfying way."

Director of R&D

"The MindMatters software has really worked out for our team. It has enabled us to develop a process that effectively mines the innovative thoughts of R&D. Our invention disclosure count is through the roof compared to pre-MindMatters numbers."