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Add Value To Product Development Process With These 5 Tips
The first stage of the new product development process is what determines the final product outcome. All essential steps involved in translating the product vision to reality are incorporated at this stage. This makes the product development stage immensely significant to the business. Below we discuss the steps involved in the product research and development process, journey from ideation to final product and tips to optimize the entire process bearing in mind the technical specifications related to IP.
Table of Contents
The Six Step Framework
The product development process may be divided into 6 stages that streamline the process and assist in releasing an innovative and unique product into the market. Here we sum up what is the first stage of the new-product development process along with the other 5 stages:
This is the stage where ideas are brainstormed keeping in mind the business goals, target market etc. Various tools and resources may be used to adopt the most feasible idea.
Also termed as the discovery stage, here a detailed analysis of the technical, marketing and business aspects of the product is undertaken. Mockups, prototypes, and designs are used to develop the product and determine its core functionality.
Intensive market research is undertaken to understand the competitive landscape and assess where it fits suitably in the market. The goal here is to create a product for mass manufacturing.
Once a prototype is created, the designing stage gives it the final touches that help refine the product. Various tests are conducted and consumer feedback is utilized to perfect and enhance it.
At this stage the final product is ready and a marketing strategy is to be decided. A test marketing may be conducted to predict the effectiveness of the launch plan as well as the product in the market.
The final stage of product development concerns itself with transferring specs etc. to manufacturing, rolling out the final marketing plan, and operationalizing the entire process.
The above image is an example of a flow chart of Intelligent Automated Assistance (US20120016678A1)
5 IP Tips To Boost The Product Development Process:
These 5 tips can help businesses leverage their product development stage to sync with the Intellectual Property Rights goals of organizations:
In order to succeed in the highly competitive patent landscape, organizations need to continually evolve and embrace change. A solid idea is the building block of the entire process and helps identify the first stage of the product development process. Building a mechanism where employee ideas are encouraged and promoted helps create a reliable pool of ideas within the company. By harnessing employee ideation an organization can generate fresh and substantive ideas that are unique and exclusive to the company.
Since they are born within the organization., protecting these ideas at the initiation stage is possible and increases the IP security.
As the lines between IP and Business strategies blur, aligning the two is becoming common practice for organizations. IP Rights may be protected in the form of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Selecting the right type of protection will depend on the business’s present and future business objectives for the company.
When patenting an invention, companies have two options, i.e., the trade secret route and the patent route. Choosing between the two will depend on what shape the final product takes. Therefore, it is best to wait till the later stages when all patent filing requirements for the product are ready. Nature of the invention, competition analysis, likelihood of similar creations by other companies/independent creators etc. are a few factors that need to be looked into when making this important decision.
With businesses clamoring for patents and churning out inventions at breakneck speeds, staying updated at every stage is a necessity. In order to secure a truly competitive and enhanced R&D wing, is imperative to use IP information during the product development stage. Patent documents can reveal significant information on the latest available tech thereby averting any resource wastage at the time of developing the product. It also provides ideas that can improve product design or help in reducing the costs of manufacturing it. Ultimately, this will help not just in reducing expenses but also in expediting product release.
Any existing IP that does not contribute to the product development cycle must be evaluated at this time. Either at the initial or review stages, it is important to consider the feasibility of existing IPs and sort them into core and non-core. Once the non-core IP has been identified, an expert valuation must be conducted to take the final decision on out-licensing them. The importance of this step lies in its ability to bring down the overall costs involved in the product development stage.
A Cross-licensing agreement grants one party to use the patented tech of another. This serves as an excellent means to access the latest technology without the burden of spending additional time and resources required to create it. In some cases, the agreement may also be royalty-free thereby giving additional monetary benefits to the licensee. Such arrangements are also referred to as patent pools and offer a win-win scenario to both parties. When taking the route of cross-licensing it is important to consult with attorneys to decide the type of contract to enter into for smooth functioning.
The above tips can be very helpful for businesses in enhancing the product development stage. Besides the above factors, the ability of a company to leverage its existing IP is a decisive factor in determining the success of the development process.
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