Labor day just went by and for me that has always marked the end of summer, or at least the end of that summer-vacation feeling.  After labor day is typically when I went back to school.  Those days have long gone by for me.  Yet, even so, I still get the same, “now is the time to get with it and buckle down to some real work” vibe that came with the start of a new school year.  It was always an exciting time.  I liked school – the new classes, new books, picking out school supplies and reuniting with friends separated over the summer by family vacations and sleep-away camps.

Now, many years later, still with this sense of excitement as we swing into the fall, I’d like to harness that energy.  There are 4 months left to the year.  In many ways, New Year’s resolutions are a distant memory.  Yet, this transition into the last quarter of the year is a good time to take stock of where things sit.

Where are you in your 2018 goals?

What is left on your list to accomplish before year-end?

And if that 2018 “to do” list is long-lost, or just unrealistic at this point, how about a new one, tailored to run through December?

When it comes to strategy planning, now can be a good time to have a look.  Particularly, as we head towards the end of the year, the holidays take over. And then we set our sights on 2019, and perhaps a new funding cycle.  Before that happens, consider using the next few months to check a few things off the list.

With regards to an IP portfolio as part of your strategy, here are a few thoughts for the new school year:

  • What have you filed this year? Are there on-going projects that are now suitable for drafting into provisional patent applications?
  • Have you started new projects over the past 9 months that could benefit from an IP landscape analysis?
  • Do you have a pending PCT application nearing national phase? Now can be a good time to assess where your R&D stands relative to the PCT disclosure and decide how best to focus the first claim set that will enter prosecution.
  • Are you planning to present your R&D to investors, for pitch days or other public presentations?  Assess what is not yet protected  by patent filings before it reaches public ears and put the ball into motion on these filings.

Perhaps over 2018 you have not given much thought to an IP strategy.  Other issues and pressing concerns have taken priority.  Use the new school year feeling to reset.  Take a new notebook, or if that is too old school, a new file or note on your computer, and set out your IP goals:  Where are your points of differentiation from the competition? How can you protect these differentiators?  Have you considered if your path to commercialization is clear? What you need to do to make this happen?  Pick up that No. 2 pencil and get started!