Why intellectual property lawyers should blog about how to monetize IP

Intellectual property lawyers should blog about strategies for clients to monetize their IP – as law firm clients are increasingly looking for legal counsel that will be a conduit to business success.

Clients expect lawyers to be a conduit to business success

A recent article in Forbes magazine by legal services sector management consultant Mark Cohen describes an emerging legal market where business clients increasingly expect lawyers to be a conduit to business success.

As Cohen explains, business leaders are encouraging (or sometimes demanding) that lawyers “operate proactively, predictively, quickly, efficiently, collaboratively, and in data-backed fashion. The expectation is that the legal function will morph from self-contained cost center to collaborative catalyst for enterprise and customer value creation.”

Notably, as Cohen details, 97% of business leaders want their lawyer’s success metrics to be aligned with their business goals. And 74% of business leaders say it is important or extremely important for lawyers to create revenue and new market opportunities.

Where IP lawyers can be a conduit to business success

IP monetization is where intellectual property (IP) is harnessed to generate revenue. As IP law firm Maier & Maier, PLLC has explained: “The next great corporate challenge in the information age is figuring out how to unlock the hidden power of Intellectual Property, most notably with patents. ” And as upcounsel details, this monetization is complex and requires the special skills which IP lawyers possess.

IP assets are frequently developed (via primary and supplementary monetization) by corporate management teams seeking to generate greater profitability. As deal lawyer Art Mertes has detailed in Entrepreneur magazine: “Accretion of IP value is the key element to supporting overall enterprise value. ” Frequently, IP assets can become biproducts of a company’s core business activities, capable of generating multiple revenue streams. Once regarded as simply tools providing rights for exclusion, patents are increasingly significant as intangible assets.

Historically focused on industry sectors including e-commerce, high-tech, and pharmaceuticals, IP monetization is now more important in other industries. Many IP owners are not knowledgeable about how it can be monetized. This presents an opportunity for IP lawyers to meet the needs of clients where they most wish to be assisted.

IP monetization-focused blogging will help law firms generate more clients

As the blog of legal technology company Clio has detailed (citing an American Bar Association study), 60% of law firms with more than 100 lawyers maintain blogs – and 37% of all law firms do. Notably, 34% of firms with blogs report that they have been signed by new clients because of their blogging. Clio also cites Kevin O’Keefe, CEO of LexBlog, who explains that blogs build law firm authority and reputation. But to stand out among a sea of blogs, he advises firms to focus their blogging on specific legal niches. Importantly, he also explains that firms should not use their blog as a megaphone to shout the merits of their firm. Instead, law blogs should provide useful information that is enjoyable to read.

Lawyers who focus on niche blogging areas like IP monetization strategy, therefore, can distinguish themselves among their competitors with an insightful and consistent blogging initiative. Here, lawyers can analyze the market to determine what topical IP monetization issues or opportunities are most relevant to clients — and where their practice niche can be of help in the monetization process.

I have extensive experience in helping law firms establish and maintain niche blogging initiatives, including those focused on intellectual property monetization. If you would like to discuss how I might help you establish or maintain a niche legal blogging initiative around IP, please contact me.  

Author: John Grimley

John Grimley specializes in providing writing, editing and business English communications services to professionals in law, governmental relations, and management consulting, and globalizing companies and startups.

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