The best-placed IP strategies to cope with new tech like AI, IoT and blockchain follow four key principles. Use our benchmarking tool to see how your company compares against the competition.

No market is safe from disruption by new technology.

An unprecedented breadth of innovations is lowering barriers to entry that allowed leaders in mature markets to stay ahead, safe in the knowledge they had the resources, supply chains and brand names to remain competitive.

Artificial intelligence (AI), connectivity (including Internet of Things) and blockchain are among the long list of innovations that are all changing the world, right now.

They are allowing new entrants to shake up old markets, digitising services, jobs and habits and turning more and more aspects of our lives into data points for software to record and analyse.

If there is one constant amid this chaos, this destabilisation of the old guard, it is intellectual property (IP). Technological disruption and IP are bedfellows - you will rarely see one without the other.

And the febrile period of disruption means IP is more valuable than ever.

The ability to monopolise and leverage an idea is the disrupted world's currency exchange. It is how deals will be made, market share will be kept, and new markets entered.

How do you compare?

How do you know if your company's IP strategy can meet these challenges?

Every company's situation is different, and its IP plan should reflect that, but here are four principles that every business leader should factor in.

Principle 1: Tech disruption

How well does your business understand the most influential disruptors? Which of them, if any, are you investing in? And are you paying attention to the opportunities they provide you and your competitors?

Principle 2: IP culture

To mitigate risk and play an active part in the tech revolution, IP needs to take part in the most important decisions. This means a board-level presence and a business culture that fosters understanding of IP at every level. Does your head of IP have a seat at the top table?

Principle 3: IP strategy

Changing a business to meet hungry competitors with inherently higher-risk appetites is a major challenge. Identifying the most significant IP risks is essential.

Is your IP strategy reflecting the pace of change within your market by planning for the short-, medium- and long-term?

Principle 4: China strategy

China is rapidly turning into an information economy and changing the IP world in the process.

How important is the Chinese market to your company's IP strategy? Does your IP portfolio include filings made in China?

Take the test

Gowling WLG has developed an online benchmarking tool that compares your business against these principles. Find out if your IP strategy is prepared for tech disruption.

Read the original article on

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.