Robert's Rules of Innovation™ Imperatives Can Offset Recession's Latest Victim -- U.S. Patent Filings

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With R&D budgets cut, upcoming book offers the path forward for U.S. businesses.

Although it is widely understood that job creation and economic health depends on sustainable innovation, recent preliminary reports by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office show a 2.3 percent drop in U.S. patent filings – as U.S. patents issued to foreign businesses jumped 6.3 percent.

And, according to the forthcoming Robert’s Rules of Innovation™ ( ISBN # 978-0470596999, Wiley & Sons), a roadmap for success through sustainable Innovation written by Robert Brands with Martin Kleinman, 2009 is the first time since 1996 in which U.S. businesses and inventors filed fewer patents compared with the previous year.

However, the authors point out that following key innovation “imperatives” in time of recession is not only doable, but necessary for survival in today’s highly competitive global economy. “Recessions cut into budgets and often, the first thing to go is the R&D budget – it’s ‘addition by subtraction,’” said Robert Brands, co-author of Robert’s Rules of InnovationÔ and principal of Innovation Coach ( “Sure, patents are a controllable expense but let’s face it. Innovation is the lifeblood of business and the secret to outperforming the competition. When the going gets tough, cutting innovation erodes our competitive edge -- and offshore companies stand to benefit.”

According to Brands, the key imperatives to creation of a successful, lasting innovation strategy are: Inspire; No Risk, No Innovation; New Product Development; Ownership; Value Creation; Accountability; Training and Coaching; Idea Management; Observe and Measure; and Net Result and Reward.

“These 10 essential rules are the cornerstone of our upcoming book and will help business leaders achieve profitable growth,” he said. “Our book – like the original Robert’s Rules of Order – intelligently and entertainingly creates order from the chaos imposed by today’s misguided slashing of R&D budgets.”

The book’s 10 imperatives are distilled from Brands’ wealth of experience as a leader of international product development teams. They are the guiding principles today’s business leaders need to build, nurture and profit from their innovation programs.

“These rules must be understood, implemented, maintained and protected – fiercely – in order for your innovation program to succeed. This holds true even in the face of tremendous economic pressure to cut costs. For our economy to bounce back, we need job creation. And innovation results in incremental business opportunities that get people working.

“Now, more than ever, delivering sustainable innovation is critical to our long-term economic health,” he said.

Rich with real-life examples, contributed by Brands and his international network of Innovate-For-Success experts, the book is a must-read for managers who know, in their gut, that – today – it’s Innovate, or Perish.

For updates and to stay posted on the book publishing date and events, please register at:


Industry veteran Robert Brands is the founder of Brands & Company, LLC, an international consultancy ( dedicated to helping business leaders create sustainable innovation programs that deliver profitable growth.

Brands has more than a quarter-century of experience in creating innovative, breakthrough products at such firms as Kohler Company, Sylvania and Philips Lighting. As managing director of the Rexam Plastics Personal Care Division, Brands led a global team of operations, marketing and NPD professionals who developed products found in households throughout the world. The former leader of Airspray N.V., Brands led the company forward to become the worldwide leader in innovative personal care product packaging – including the non-aerosol, instant-foaming hand soap, considered one of that industry’s biggest breakthrough product designs in the last 25 years.

Martin Kleinman is a New York-based writer and marketing communications specialist, and managing director of Communications Strategies (


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