An approach that blends global business insight and IP sophistication – the Phase M Legal approach.

IP Strategy

It starts with the Overall Business Strategy. Any IP strategy must begin with a well-articulated strategy for the larger business. What types and areas of business are you pursuing and why? What are the vision and specific business objectives? Only after articulating a detailed business strategy can you craft an IP Strategy to help you get there. Phase M Legal can help you align your IP Strategy with your Business Strategy.

Optimizing IP Strategy. The IP strategy orchestrates accumulated information on your existing technologies, competencies and resources, product development pipeline, branding, industry dynamics, competitors, business strategy, and global trends to form a plan to leverage IP most advantageously. This plan may include a collection of potential IP transactions, specific IP generation targets from internal collaboration efforts, and a variety of other tactical IP activities along with budgets and resources.

Focus on Competitive Advantage. Your IP strategy should be globally focused on enhancing your competitive advantage. Does it consider the differing legal realities of scope of rights and enforcement burdens of IP in different countries? Are your IP transactions identified and tailored to meet these realities? Is your IP strategy clear to the relevant leaders and managers across your operations with responsibilities that affect your IP rights? There are many aspects to an IP strategy and its successful execution. Phase M Legal offers legal advice and business insight to improve your competitive advantage.

Outdated Client Approach:  IP is an expensive legal endeavor to protect new technology created by R&D. Like insurance, it is vital to company health but sits idle until needed in a legal dispute.

Informed Client Approach: IP is a collection of intangible corporate assets that can be used as a form of “currency” in pursuit of the core company strategy to promote innovation and facilitate transactions in creative ways. It can be leveraged as “innovation currency,” to create or expand market opportunities between companies globally, including suppliers, and even competitors. As “joint venture currency,” IP can be used to enter new markets through partnerships or joint ventures, using patent or trademark licensing. And like “investment currency,” IP will increase in value if proactively managed to meet strategic business goals. It offers new routes for commercial advantage in an expanding market or economic recovery during downturns like recessions and pandemic slowdowns.

IP Transactions
Phase M Legal offers help with IP related transactions. IP intangible assets constitute a significant portion of the value in any enterprise. Managed wisely, IP can earn returns, counterbalance and offset risk or be used to facilitate strategic transactions with creative leverage and generate competitive advantage.

PORTFOLIO DEVELOPMENT. IP portfolio creation and acquisition remain a mainstay of IP transactions required by clients. Not only necessary for basic asset protection, a patent and brand portfolio are part of the hallmark criteria for venture capital funding and secure product development. Phase M Legal can provide services in all phases of basic portfolio creation and management, including patent applications (utility patents, plant patents, plant variety protection certificates, and other traditional forms of IP applications).

TRANSACTING IP. Phase M Legal can help clients acquire, sell and license patents, brands, and related know-how. The concept of “monetizing” IP has become standard Boardroom conversation. This concept, generally defined as realizing new revenue through the sale or licensing of IP assets, is only one part of the overall power behind IP value creation. There is a more strategic, broader view for many clients. For many start-up and young businesses, IP may be the only asset of real value in the company and an absolute necessity for venture capital funding.

DYNAMIC ASSET MANAGEMENT. The business world is constantly changing, with changes in technology, customers, and markets. With all this change, the client’s view of IP should change as well. The many kinds of IP transactions used today reflect how IP assets are part of the dynamic management of a client’s business. Phase M Legal works proactively with clients to bring new insight and experience to the dynamic management of the IP opportunities available to their business.


  • IP Portfolio Development. Phase M Legal provides services in basic portfolio creation and management, such as patent applications and other traditional forms of IP applications, including a special focus in plant variety protection such as plant patents and plant variety protection certificates for, among others, fruit trees, berries, and ornamental flowers.
  • IP Licensing. Phase M Legal can help clients out-license, in-license, and cross license IP assets around the globe, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, utility models, trade secrets and know-how.
  • IP Valuations, Sales and Acquisitions. New markets are evolving to make IP more liquid. Phase M Legal can assist clients in evaluation of their existing IP portfolio to identify assets that may bring value through a sale or out-license, then help to identify potential buyers or licensees and negotiate, structure, and close transactions. Likewise, Phase M can help clients identify potential IP acquisition targets globally that strategically fit with business objectives and help negotiate and structure acquisitions of these IP assets.
  • Innovation Collaborations. Collaboration with other organizations can provide accelerated time to market with reduced costs and lower risk for new product development efforts. Phase M Legal can help clients identify potential technologies and partners, structure the relationships, and proactively manage the IP rights created within the collaborative efforts. Likewise, Phase M Legal can help clients identify and facilitate enhanced relationships with suppliers, provide access to new sales and distribution channels, and formulate new relationships and opportunities with partners or competitors.


Understanding and navigating the realities of the IP landscape is a serious undertaking but essential to building a good IP Strategy. It requires an accurate identification of relevant IP, along with a well-informed analysis of the obstacles and opportunities available. The path to pursuing your business strategy will eventually entail analysis of IP issues in the form of counsel or legal opinions, such as freedom to operate, clearance opinions, infringement or validity opinions, asset valuations, and more. Businesses need relevant IP advice, in a form that makes sense in relation to their business priorities and needs. Phase M Legal can help with IP services that let you make informed decisions relevant to the pursuit and deployment of new technologies and opportunities.

Unfortunately, litigation and dispute resolution are also a part of the IP landscape, either as enforcement or defense against competitors. IP litigation is often complex, expensive, and risky for both sides of a dispute, no matter what the forum, whether it involves a state court action, a mediation or arbitration, a matter in federal district court, or even at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, such as an inter partes action before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

At Phase M Legal, my goal is to help my clients explore all reasonable alternatives to offensive or defensive litigation: I have been involved in IP litigation for more than twenty years, including first chair trial experience, and I use that experience to help clients properly evaluate the realities of litigation as one of many options in pursuing business objectives. If litigation is necessary, I have the experience to help my clients prepare a litigation strategy from the context of their IP and business strategy and then pursue that litigation, or help in identifying, selecting, and assisting other appropriate litigation counsel.

At one end of the IP activity spectrum is the IP creation phase. Many firms concentrate in this area, preparing applications for patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Although I have ample experience in this area, it is not the primary practice focus. I work with my clients to develop a strategy for asset creation that is aligned with their business strategy and dynamically designed in the context of their relevant technology and market trends.

At the other end of the spectrum is the IP enforcement phase. Although I have over twenty years of litigation experience, my practice focus is helping clients avoid expensive, protracted, and risky litigation. I help clients identify, structure, and negotiate IP transactions that support and propel their business strategy so that litigation becomes only one of many options available. When litigation cannot be avoided, my experience can help guide the deployment of resources strategically and efficiently so that business goals come first, not those of the litigation.

The middle of the IP activity spectrum, – the M Phase – is filled with value creating opportunities – almost everything relevant to identifying, valuing, leveraging, transacting, and managing intellectual property. Between IP creation and IP rights enforcement, thus lies the real power and opportunity for value growth in intellectual property.

In the M Phase, IP opportunities can be crafted and bundled to meet changing business objectives. Global brands and trademarks, patents, copyrights, know-how and other intangible rights can be acquired, sold, licensed, and pooled to build value in supply chains, distribution channels, collaborations, new ventures, and an endless variety of other value generating prospects.

Identifying and executing on these dynamic prospects demands a flexible, creative, and proactive approach that blends perceptive business insight and IP sophistication – the Phase M Legal approach.