Price Heneveld publishes a new white paper by attorney Michael Hages with insights and strategy for aligning patent work with the design process.

Effective use of design is increasingly recognized as a critical factor in driving success in today’s corporate world. Design is essential for creating products that capture consumers’ interest and imagination, promote engagement between consumer and product, and foster customer loyalty to a brand. Merely employing or hiring designers, however, is often not enough for a company to maximize design’s effectiveness. Companies that understand how design works, elevate both design and designers within their organizational structure, and activate design as an enabler for innovation and internal change are reported to not only have improved sales and growth, but to have healthier and more effective management.

Intellectual property rights—mainly in the form of patents—are widely recognized as an important tool for protecting the work of designers. In a new white paper, Price Heneveld attorney Michael Hages asks whether the working relationship between patent practitioners and designers reaches the level of understanding and strategic enablement that so-called “design centric” companies are now looking for in other areas of business. In “A Design-Centric Approach to Patents” Mr. Hages examines the operational system between patents and design. He finds that, while design and IP may be heavily involved with one another in various working relationships, there hasn’t yet been enough real thought as to how the two can be optimally integrated. To that end, the paper presents a new framework for a Patent-Integrated Design Strategy service that is aimed at making patent work strategically useful to the design and innovation process, while better leveraging design insight to help implement robust and efficient patent strategies.

Patent-Integrated Design Strategy is, essentially, a different approach for conducting and using patent research, as well as for harvesting and protecting design-generated IP. The strategy allows patent issues to be considered as a matter of course within and alongside existing design work without interrupting the progress and creative flow of design. It also leverages design insight to help prioritize patent filings and inform strategies for timing and budget. In a broader sense, using the strategy helps design to produce even more innovative solutions with a clearer path to implementation along more predictable timetables, can enhance the effective use of design as an organizational tool for managing uncertainty, and can help increase or restore patent value.

Download a copy of A Design-Centric Approach to Patents. Read more about Mr. Hages’s background, and let us know when you’re ready for us to design the right approach to patent work to help your organization become more design centric.