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A few days ago Vice President Joe Biden made headlines defending Intellectual Property during the Creativity Conference in Orlando, Florida. “They’d never steal a shipment of a thousand automobiles,” he said in reference to intellectual property pirates. “What they’re stealing is much more valuable than the commodities we ship.” (ABCNews.com, 2014) Intellectual Property refers to the intangible creation of the mind such as assets, phrases, designs and symbols that a company owns or licenses in order to prevent others from using it. That doesn’t guarantee people won’t try to steal what belongs to you. In addition to the theft controversy that continually surrounds this topic, there are even more struggles companies face when it comes to IP. Managing assets is a whole challenge in itself as it involves an extensive process that is heavily tied to global design and fab-less methodology. Industries in the semiconductor, med device and high-tech companies face several obstacles when a proper management system isn’t being applied including:

  1. No Central Catalog-Fragmented IP
  2. Unrelated to Product BOM
  3. Issue Tracking Not at IP Level
  4. Inconsistent Management Processes
  5. Untracked Usage Across Enterprise

Companies demand the ability to effectively use their IP assets to accelerate their innovation in design, while also minimizing the risk of IP misuse and reducing time to finalize IPs for a project. If you’re already using Agile, you can highly reduce problems and increase productivity all within the same database where your product data is stored. You must start from the bottom up to manage your record, then build out the processes including acquisitions, search, managing Design BOM, revision change control, and centralized issue tracking with placing Analytics on top. We recommend starting an IP Management workshop, which will guide the team in efficiently completing this process. Using one consolidated Agile PLM system comes with a plethora of advantages. Benefits include:

  • More re-use through search of IP
  • Central control of licenses
  • Secure company IP
  • Quality issues feedback into IP design
  • Quality issues impacting other products
  • Complete picture of Product BOM Cost
  • Less waste-centrally managed IP acquisition
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Faisal Saeed

Faisal Saeed is the Vice President of IT Services of Xavor Corporation with 20 years of experience in Software Development. His areas of interest include Workflows/Business Process Automation, Integration, and Enterprise Web Development. He specializes in dissecting requirements and coming up with intuitive solutions. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.