Lesson 2: Connecting IP Strategy to Business Strategy

What are the Most Common Types of IP Strategies to Consider in Light of Business Objectives?


Different IP strategies can be used to help achieve different business objectives. In addition, different forms of IP will drive different strategies as well as the form(s) of IP protection a business may seek. 

As a first step, think of all the forms of IP that a business might want in its portfolio based on some of the considerations identified below. Most successful businesses will use a combination of different types of IP protection to achieve their objectives.


Apple’s tremendous market success is attributable to an integrated and well-thought-out IP strategy that includes the sophisticated use of patents, trademarks, copyright and industrial designs. We will discuss Apple’s strategic use of IP in subsequent modules.


Here are some considerations that might suggest the use of one possible form of IP protection over another, even though a business will always want to weigh all of its IP options in light of both its current and long-term business goals.

  1. Possible IP Strategy

    If the business strategy is to set a standard or to get others to develop offerings that are complementary to the business’s products and services, then strategies whereby IP is “shared” can be adopted. Either full or partial free access to IP can be used to achieve a variety of commercial advantages, including generating goodwill and a positive reputation among consumers.


    Some musicians have chosen to offer entire albums or individual songs online for free downloads. In doing so, not only do they generate strong customer goodwill but they are also able to draw considerable financial returns through concert ticket sales and sales of online merchandise instead of exclusively through copyright royalties.

Last modified: Friday, 4 September 2020, 9:42 AM