Execute an IP Process in Six Steps

Launch past your competition to own every important innovation

Alan Rodriguez
4 min readMar 19, 2020

Start by planning for 2x to 4x increase in the number of enforceable patents over the next decade. First mover advantages will be immense. Those organizations that operationalize intellectual property acquisition will also capture emergent digital business models and practices as monopolistic assets.

We start by focusing on five to seven carefully selected strategic competitive differentiators and their existing teams organized, staffed, and incentivized to out-pace the competition.

Create Intellectual Property in 6 Steps

The 6-Step Process to successfully acquire valuable Intellectual Property:

  1. Focus on a carefully selected set of strategic competitive differentiators. Walmart focuses on low cost, Amazon on convenience, Volvo on safety. In order to remain relevant, all organizations must successfully select and pursue some set of differentiators that attract and retain loyal customers. Each organization should have five to seven of these areas of focus with the intention of owning the most important innovations for each one.
  2. Organize Test and Learn cross-functional Innovation Teams. Look around your organization for supporting efforts like Agile Transformation, Data and Analytics Democratization, Customer/User Experience Centricity, Robotic and Artificial Intelligence Automation, Cultural Transformation, Marketing and Customer Personalization Efforts. Each of these efforts can be harnessed and fused together creating and running your innovation teams focused on each strategic competitive differentiator.
  3. Design the Cultural Preconditions to Learning and Creativity with cooperative team-based incentives. Imagine how a university culture of collegiality executes learning with instructors and students collaborating and researching together as cooperative teams to unlock emergent opportunities. This IS the cultural model that distingiuishes highly successful technology companies borrowed from academia. A corporate version replaces students with newer employees and instructors with more experienced leaders in deliberate mentorship relationships. Their collaborative research blends the best of past experience with fresh new ideas to own important emergent opportunities. To staff these teams, look for SMEs with a desire to mentor and relevant experience to teach, employees with a passion for disruption, and servant leaders with a drive to create a lasting impact.
  4. Design decision making for these teams using The Scientific Method but drop the lab coats and add a healthy dose of fun. More mature differentiators involving profitable scalability and efficiency are often about optimization involving high precision option evaluation and selection, like a high precision scale. Data quality and reliability are more important for these teams. Innovation is about speed of execution, movement, and rapid understanding. These teams use data to sniff out directionality to search for new opportunities. Emergent differentiators and their teams focus on data analysis to drive directionality, like a compass or a survey, steering towards the next set of learning objectives. Data flexibility is more important for these teams. Put simply, organizations have farmer (efficiency/precision), hunter (innovation/flexibility), and hybrid teams. Teams optimized for success are staffed, operationalized, enculturated and incentivized differently.
  5. Infuse learning with data and analytics advancing to the creation of the highest value predictive and prescriptive AI decision-making solutions. Focus DataOps, Data Privacy, and Data Governance, and Data Management functions on immediate outcomes and prioritize the efforts supporting these innovation teams. Divergent needs of hunter, farmer and hybrid teams requires a flexible dual approach to data management and data architecture.
  6. Execute an IP Strategy that focuses on each strategic competitive differentiator defining goals, gaps/obstacles/risks, competitive landscape, and success measures. Finally execute individual IP Plans for each strategic competitive differentiator designed to launch past your competition and own every important innovation.

Prediction: By 2030 we will experience 2x to 4x increase of patents filed and in force.

  1. Abstract Ideas are now patentable
  2. An entirely new class of software patent types is now available — it’s a “Great Digital Land-Grab”
  3. The patent process is more predictable with more relable outcomes and therefore less risky to operationalize

By allowing Abstract Ideas, US companies, universities, and inventors can now wrap existing software patents leaping ahead of others with an existing lead. This applies to you and your industry along with your competitors both domestic and international.

Please contact me. I’m passionate about discussing how to teach your teams to play with ideas and operationalize an intellectual property strategy?

Part 1 of 2 of a Blog Series on Innovation and Intellectual Property:

  1. Part 1: The Great Digital Land Grab
  2. Part 2: Execute an IP Strategy in 6 Steps

Alan Rodriguez is an accomplished digital leader, startup founder, and patent author with a passion for innovation, strategy and emergent digital business models. He’s available to lead a tailored IP strategy for a few select organizations.

214 476 7448


Head shot of Alan Rodriguez



Alan Rodriguez

Startup Founder, Inventor, Product Leader, Digital Hunter & Marketer, Data & Privacy Renegade, Philosopher, Digital Humanist