Brainbase - The digitisation of IP management
During the recent WTR Connect masterclass "Monetisation in the 'new normal': licensing and commercialisation opportunities", leaders at Brainbase, Coty, Nestlé and Stobbs IP discussed several issues to have faced the licensing industry over the past year, as well as a number of trends for 2021.
A key takeaway from the conversation was the shift from a reliance on retail and the old ways of working to the new age of digital licensing opportunities and technology. For some time, retail operations completely shut down due to the covid-19 pandemic, and e-commerce swiftly became the only avenue through which to sell products to consumers. If companies were not thinking about digital-first strategies for reaching consumers before the pandemic, the past year has definitely put this priority into overdrive.
From a collaboration perspective, the switch to remote working during the pandemic has not only affected internal processes, but also external processes between licensors, licensees and licensing agents. To ensure that partners remain compliant with royalty reporting and that products go to market on time while abiding by brand guidelines, getting the job done has become much tougher. The companies most prepared to handle this disruption to standard ways of work have been those that had previously put technology first and provided their teams with the best tools to succeed, whether in the office, on the road, at conferences or at home.
Where using AI and machine-learning technology to automate certain functions around licensing and trademark management was once an idea for the future, it is now very much in the present. While it is still possible for a company to keep track of its IP portfolio in an Excel spreadsheet, this is no longer beneficial when the business can have insights, analytics and tools to take its trademark management and monetisation capabilities to another level.
Now is the time for companies to turn to technology and digital opportunities internally and externally. They must not wait until the next disruption to the global workforce to do so. If all parties – licensors, licensees and agents – collaborate on the latest technology together, they will all be able to overcome unforeseen obstacles more quickly and achieve greater success when it comes to managing and monetising their IP portfolios.