In an increasingly competitive and globalized world, the need to differentiate and innovate in products and services offered by a company is critical to the survival of the same in time. In addition, customers and users are increasingly aware of the implications that exist around the production and offer of said products and services, in such manner that proper management of the protection of knowledge generated by them will be a very valuable tool for companies.

Questions such as: What are customers requiring?, How can we fulfill these requirements?, What solutions are being offered by our competitors?, What is the trend of the technology or its associated services? may allow design research, development and innovation (I+D+i) strategies directed to meet the needs of customers and generate elements of differentiation.

Now, while marketing can shed light on the answer to the first question (What are customers requiring?), Intellectual Property becomes a very important ally for the entrepreneur to answer the other questions. For example, technological surveillance will answer the following questions: What solutions are being offered by our competitors?, What is the trend of the technology or its associated services?, thereby providing to the area of ​​R+D+I, a guide on the best way to dispose of available resources, avoid duplication of effort and answer, through the development of the R+D+i, the other question: How can we fulfill these requirements?  Finally, the fruits of these activities may be protected by different Intellectual Property mechanisms available, shielding the company from competitors.

Companies can access different mechanisms to protect their intangibles. Trademarks, patents and industrial designs stand out, but there are also trade secrets, copyrights, plant varieties and designations of origin. Each company may, by managing the protection, have a portfolio of intangibles adjusted to their profile and needs, which may also be exploited in accordance with the strategic guidelines and the respective corporate objectives.

Accordingly, the generation of knowledge and differentiation in business should be associated with a permanent accompaniment of Intellectual Property instruments, establishing in each step the optimization of available information on the state of the art, protection of results and the subsequent management of the portfolio.

Why is it then Intellectual Property so relevant as a tool for competitiveness and innovation in companies? In line with the above, Intellectual Property allows the production of the elements that give differentiating effects and therefore, represent an economic return on the investment made in R+D+i. Also, since these elements are goods, they can be managed, exploited, sold, licensed and transferred, in response to a trading strategy. Finally, a company that protects its intangibles generates an image of seriousness and commitment to customers and other stakeholders.