Intellectual property is described as: “Knowledge, creative ideas, or expressions of human mind that have commercial value and are protectable under copyright, patent, service-mark, trademark, or trade secret laws from imitation, infringement, and dilution. Intellectual property includes brand names, discoveries, formulas, inventions, knowledge, registered designs, software, and works of artistic, literary, or musical nature. It is one of the most readily tradable properties in the digital marketplace.”
In brief, intellectual property is a product of the human mind, of human intellect. Ideas form the basis of all intellectual property. It is the creative talent in people that gives birth to ideas and concepts. As long as these ideas are not shared with others or made public, they remain the property of the creator. There are government laws that protect the intellectual property of individuals or organizations.
When ideas become common knowledge
But the problem arises once the ideas become common knowledge. If the idea or concept has value in it, then others jump onto the bandwagon and claim the idea as their own and it ceases to be the property of the creator. They may tweak the idea slightly so that they do not infringe intellectual property laws. But having done that, they claim it as their original idea and take credit for it.
As a result, very often, big ideas fall by the wayside because they are hijacked by others. So even if they are intellectual property on paper, in reality they lose that advantage.
To give life to ideas and concepts
In order to give life to ideas and concepts, it becomes necessary to act on them. Big ideas get an identity only when people work on them and create products or services based on them. It is not easy coming up with unique, out-of-ordinary concepts but it is just as difficult to bring them into existence.
It is only when these ideas are executed that the creator has ownership of the product or service created. Thus execution becomes the intellectual property at this stage.
Execution of the idea is critical
Execution of the idea is critical for its success – but execution depends on a variety of factors. It requires organizational support, a highly capable and motivated team, beneficial personnel policies, government laws, etc. Execution is not as easy as it may appear to be. It requires a disciplined process consisting of a series of inter-connected tasks that have to be completed successfully in order to give fruition to the original idea or concept.
Execution is not a one-time decision or a single act. It is a process and being so gives it the advantage of being difficult to copy. Execution consists of a series of internal activities and tasks which cannot be imitated fully. And this gives the creator and executor a competitive advantage which can be exploited to achieve success and make profits. By virtue of being difficult if not almost impossible to copy and imitate, execution, and not a big idea becomes the real intellectual property.