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Episode 6: To R&D or Not R&D? Is that even a question?

Graphs for Report — Howell, MI — The Patent Baron

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Episode 6: To R&D or Not R&D? Is that even a question?

I often talk to companies about innovation and how to stay ahead of the competition. They sometimes push back with the cost of innovation and how they feel it is hard to justify. I appreciate their perspective, as I was an in-house patent counsel at a multinational and so saw first-hand the true costs of doing business. (Hint: It’s more than toilet paper and keeping the lights on.) All jokes aside, I typically ask them what they think their competitors are doing. Are they developing new products and services, or are they standing pat on their existing accomplishments? One doesn’t need to look too far to find companies that are growing, with increasing revenue and stock prices – they are innovating.  I ask them to get out of their comfort zone and reach for the next innovation, as the existence of their company may depend on it.

Mr. Lesperance discussed:

  • The need to overcome resistance to R&D and see it as an investment in the future of the company.
  • Cost cutting can only yield results to a point; after which the company begins to suffer.
  • Often innovation (intellectual property) is a company’s most valuable asset – not real property or equipment.
  • Companies fall into two camps – those that are hunkered down and waiting to things to happen to them or those that are moving forward and causing their competitors to react to them.

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