Federal Manager's Daily Report

The Postal Service has substantial intellectual property assets such as the ZIP Code andoptical character reader technology but lacks a formal, scalable, and organization-wide strategy for creating and leveraging them, the USPS inspector general has said in a white paper calling for an IP management strategy.

According to the IG, a proactive, organization-wide IP strategy couldleverage patents and other means to benefit American citizens and businesses, increase innovation, and protect the ability of the Postal Service and its customers to conduct business.

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Current intellectual asset management processes are relatively informal for such a large organization but should be standardized, aligned with an IP strategy driven by top management, and disseminated widely to employees, the IG argues.

It said USPS should consider a combination of IP strategic models suited for both legacy technologies and innovative product areas.

As part of an overall IP strategy, several tactics, including filing for patents and selective use of defensive publishing to supplement patents, can help the Postal Service achieve a return on investment, the IG argues.