I have been spending time in Northeastern Indiana--the land of my roots--to introduce my children to their aunts, uncles and many, many cousins. Catching up with extended family has made it difficult to formulate a post in the past couple of weeks, but I have a few moments this morning and wanted to capture a thought that has been rattling around in my head since I arrived here. Anyone who has spent time in this part of the U.S. will be familiar with the presence of the Amish as part of the cultural landscape. My children, as city kids, are fascinated whenever they see a carriage with families traveling along the side of the roads. However, I invariably consider about how stifling I would find it to not be able to interact with the outside world in the way that is familiar to me. In short, I wonder what it
(Ed. Note: A family emergency has been keeping me away from the office. The good news is that I have been catching up on my RSS feeds and reading some really interesting stuff, albeit a bit late. One of these interesting reads is a David Brooks piece dealing with corporate intangible assets. Since this was published Christmas week, others may have missed it, too. And, when pundits pick up on what you have been talking about for years, I means that the public is finally "getting" it!) David Brooks’ Op-Ed in the December 22, 2009 New York Times raises some interesting points about our new intangible economy. In this piece, entitled “The Protocol Economy,” Brooks recognizes that we have moved from an economy that makes “stuff” –that is, a physical goods economy—to one that deals in “protocols.” (I think it would be more appropriate to call our evolving intangible
(Editorial Note: I have gotten some great feedback from my recent post 9 Out of 10 Patents are Worthless: Here's Why and How to Keep it Happening from You (Part 1 of 4). I am working on the next installment, so be on the look out for more of my thoughts on this meaningful topic.) Readers of the IP Asset Maximizer Blog will probably enjoy this very smart post from Ian McClure of IP P®OSPE©TIVE entitled "A New Legal Landscape for IP: Ex Ante will Join Ex Post Services". (While the post says some very flattering things about me, this is not why I am recommending it: the IP P®OSPE©TIVE blog is consistently good, and Ian "gets" IP business issues.) In this post, Ian frames IP Strategy in terms of "ex post" and "ex ante"--that is, instead of dealing with IP issues after it exists (i.e., ex
The 2009 Open Innovation Summit was held in Orlando two weeks ago. The event was attended by corporate practitioners of Open Innovation, including people from P&G, GSK Consumer, Cisco, Whirlpool, J&J, HP (here are Phil McKinney's slides), Clorox, and many others. Leading consultants in Open Innovation also attended, including Stefan Lindegaard of Leadership+ Innovation, Braden Kelley of Blogging Innovation and Robert Brands of Innovation Coach. A number of vendors of services were there, too. I thought this was a great knowledge share event, and a must do for folks wanting to learn more about Open Innovation. Another Summit is planned for August 201o in Chicago. At the Summit, we spent much of the 3 days hearing how the attending companies, many of which include those in the Fortune 100, view Open Innovation as a critical aspect of sustainable growth and profits. We also heard about
Regular readers of the IP Asset Maximizer blog will note that my postings have been a bit sparse lately. I have been taking some time off with my family, and will be continuing to do so until later in June 2009. I appreciate your patience. I have some timely news items to share in the interim, however. IAM 250 Awards I am proud to announce that I have been named one of the IAM 250 for 2009. This award is given by IAM Magazine to those non-corporate IP Strategists judged by their peers as the leaders in IP Strategy. With Duncan Bucknell, Suzanne Harrison, Kevin Rivette, Andrew Watson and many others whom I respect greatly on the list, it is a great honor to appear on this inaugural list of the world's leaders in
While we can argue about the exact amount, without question, intangible assets form the majority of corporate value today. Matters involving IP are therefore predominately business issues, as opposed to legal issues or technical issues. For example, IP in the form of patents or trademarks (or both) frequently serves as a basis of the premium pricing that can be obtained from a differentiated product line. Also, IP directed toward a competitor's technology can legally limit the ability of a competitor to expand its offerings, thus decreasing its ability to compete. There are many other examples of the business value of IP, all which when strategically obtained and managed can greatly increase the overall financial position of the corporation using IP as a business tool. Notwithstanding the substantial dollars associated with corporate IP decisions, most organizations leave questions of IP in the hands of their legal and technical teams. Of course, many
As a self-described "Recovering Patent Lawyer," I am now effectively an outside observer of the way the patent business is conducted in the law firm practice environment, and how corporate and other clients purchase patent legal services. In this last year in which I have re-invented myself as an IP Strategist, I have come to firmly believe that the basic patent law firm business model contains a fundamental flaw: outside patent counsel can make money only when they actually do work for their corporate clients. As such, there is no value when a patent attorney (or her law firm partners) tells a client that he should not pay you for the attorney's expertise. This necessarily sets up a tension between what the best interests of the law firm attorney and those of the corporate client.
I often facetiously refer to myself as a "recovering patent attorney." This somewhat tongue-in-cheek phrase seems appropriate to my present professional state of mind because, after many years of drafting and prosecuting patents for clients of all sizes and degrees of sophistication, in the end, I became disillusioned with the way the patent business traditionally operates. Too often, I found that the patents I worked so hard (and was paid handsomely) to obtain failed to serve my client's business needs. In searching for the source of the disconnect between my efforts, the client's expenditures and the ultimate value of the patent to my client's business, I realized that those responsible for the client's business often did not participate adequately in the patenting process. Instead, at many organizations, inventors and patent attorneys served as the gatekeepers for most patent decisions. While the relevant client business unit typically held some say in patenting