Are Patents a Sword or a Shield: yes, no and maybe?

imagesA recent article in the Alberta Oil Magazine titled “Do patents enable innovation or stifle it?” by Jay Smith and Max Fawcett,  spurs one’s curiosity .

 ‘Cory Fries,  the vice-president of corporate and legal services at Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, says the table stakes on patent litigation make it risky for those who don’t have the budget for it. “It’s a very specialized type of litigation, and those types of lawyers are very expensive,” he says.’

You can answer the patent debate  ‘yes, no and maybe’ depending on your circumstances and viewpoint.

What comes of asking yourself a question like that is you start to explore and understand the value of a choice, in this case patents, in the context of what you hope to achieve.

When a company embraces innovation, you will ask yourself that question and many others on your path to moving innovative ideas forward.

Across Alberta, there are numerous organizations that can help move your innovative idea forward and in doing so, help you build and act on an innovation action plan.   Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF) and Alberta’s Regional Innovation Networks are examples of organizations that help companies view challenges as opportunities and encourage companies to be curious about how they can improve their business operations.

Companies know that resources are limited and should not be wasted.  This strengthens the need to be curious, creative and innovative.

Alberta’s innovation ecosystem can answer quick questions, but more importantly is structured to build resource teams around the innovative SME (small –to-medium enterprises).  The teams can be based on industry sectors, technology, markets, financing and more: often the best teams comprise many disciplines.

Who can you talk to about Do patents enable innovation or stifle it?

Where are some of the ‘front doors’ to building your resource team?

Justin Riemer, ADM Alberta Innovation & Advanced Education, recently announced the province’s innovation ecosystem is streamlining its business and innovation pathfinding services by having the Alberta Innovates Connector service addressed by Business Link.   Further they have added  Connectica as a portal allowing innovators to network with SME innovation service providers.

At the regional level, the province has ‘front doors’ through its Regional Innovation Networks.   An example of a network in northwest Alberta is the Grande Prairie RIN led by the GPRC CRI.

In addition to championing the culture of innovation as a strategy in regional economic development, these organizations are very successful at helping the company build its innovation resource team to jump on opportunities, move innovations forward and grow more robust & competitive companies.

New ideas and opportunities surround us, so continue to be curious.  Consider building your company’s innovation team!

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