New IP awareness assessment tool

The MEP program and the USPTO have teamed up to create a new on-line IP Awareness Assessment tool. According to the press release:

The tool enables users to measure and increase their awareness of IP issues, relevant to their creative projects and business goals. Users answer a comprehensive set of questions regarding IP, after which the tool provides a set of training resources tailored to specifically identified needs.

The tool can be run either as a pre-assessment or in full assessment mode. The pre-assessment is 5 questions designed to start you thinking. The full assessment is 10 categories, 62 questions that go in to greater detail. At the end of the process, a report is generated with a review of the user’s answers, suggestions for possible follow up actions and some reference materials.
Important note: this is an awareness tool, not an IP evaluation tool.
I’ve played around with the tool (click here to start) and find it is a great way for helping companies think through their IP issues. Some of the questions are of the “wait a second” common sense type: e.g. “Do you test your non-patented products in public?” and “Do you have an agreement with your employees dealing with intellectual property issues?” Some are a little more sophisticated “Do you show products you are working on to people who are not employed by you without requiring them to execute a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement?” Importantly, many of the question allow for a “not sure” answer. This helps guide the suggestions and references at the end.
In full disclosure, I’m on a panel at the Manufacturing Innovation 2012 conference next month to talk about the tool and the next steps in understanding both IP and IC/IA (Intellectual Capital/Intangible Assets). There I will be talking about another tool to assess awareness, developed by my colleague Mary Adams at I-Capital Advisors. The early version of that tool is available at the IPR Plaza website — click here to run the tool.
Try the tools out for yourself and let us know what you think.

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