Intellectual property management: strategy and tasks

Company strategies (behavioral view)

From a behavioral point of view strategies are a collection of strategic goals and targets.  A company creates goods and services to fulfill goals. Targets define in which way these goals are reached.

An operating company provides services as specified by its goals. Several possible alternative final states of operation are possible to meet the goals. Selecting the correct final state occurs through use of the targets.

Company strategies (structural view)

Besides the pure behavioral analysis of a company, the structure of the company as a network of relationships plays an important role in defining the strategy. The network of relationships reaches inside and outside of the company. Here we will confine ourselves to the external view.
Using the example of a software vendor, the external structural of view can be described as follows:

From the structural point of view one can derive a range of additional information. For each of its external relations, the software vendor has the task to manage the external relationship. For each of these external relationships, the strategic objectives apply equally important and valid formal.

Intellectual Property Strategy

An exemplary corporate IP strategy can be described as follows:

Target company's IP strategy goal:

  • Creation and utilization of intellectual property

Formal target of company IP strategy is:

  • Maximizing shareholder value

For software vendors, creating intellectual property always refers to the intellectual property owned by the software vendor, while the utilization of intellectual property may also refer to utilizing intellectual property owned by other companies. This can be realized by getting rights to use IP of other software vendors.

Intellectual property management as a task

The property's strategic goals are trying to achieve with the help of the task, "Intellectual property management." Would be subject to formal strategic goals.

Task Intellectual property management

  • Goal

    • Creation, acquisition, protection and exploitation of intellectual property

  • Formal target

    • Maximizing shareholder value

Subtasks of Intellectual Property Management

IP Management has six subtasks that should be run in every software company. These  subtasks are displayed here:

How can we describe the individual subtasks accurately? That is shown in the following figures:

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Business Models in the software industry and

Mergers and Acquisitions in the software industry

Software Ecosystems


IP Management


I would like to thank Peter Bittner from PATIT-patents for IT for discussions and suggestions. The content on this page was also discussed with the expert panel of Rechtsanwälte BDH IP Management Summit, a working committee of the House of IT.


Ferstl OK, Sinz, EJ Modeling of Business Systems Using SOM. In: Bernus P. Handbook on Architectures of Information Systems. Berlin: s.n., 2006.


(c) Dr. Karl Popp 2017


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