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All Posts by Carlo Cotrone

Carlo Cotrone is Chief IP Counsel at Techtronic Industries North America (TTI), a world leader in cordless technology spanning power tools, outdoor power equipment, and floor care appliances. He also is Adjunct Professor of Law at University of Houston Law Center, and a frequent speaker and author on topics such as IP strategy and asset management, legal ethics, collaboration and innovation strategies for law firms and corporate legal departments, and professional development. Previously, Carlo served as Senior IP Counsel at General Electric and energy technology company Baker Hughes, and practiced law at firms on the East Coast and in the Midwest, most recently as a partner. He is the inventor of two United States patents directed to digital sheet music technology.
Does Your IP Strategy Need a Tune-Up?

While many, if not most, enterprises have instituted, and are executing, an IP strategy of some sort, an important question should be considered: Is the IP strategy optimal, such that its execution extracts maximum value from company technology? Some corporate IP strategies may seem sound in theory, but in practice they are (a) selectively or inconsistently applied within or across projects, (b) incompatible with how teams actually work, (c) relatively narrow in how they perceive innovation, and (d) distracting to innovators and IP practitioners while consuming enormous resources. Ultimately, the return on IP investment of such strategies may be questionable. However, enterprises that periodically take a step back to reflect on their current IP strategies, and recalibrate them if appropriate, are likely to derive the greatest possible value from IP.

Invention Harvesting: Best Practices for Turning Aspiration into Action

Invention harvesting can be leveraged in the context of active development projects to ensure that valuable project-related intellectual property (IP) is duly protected. Significantly, invention harvesting also can be leveraged outside the project context to encourage innovators to invent disruptive technologies to occupy a future, envisioned landscape, and to protect such technologies through the patenting process before others do so. Many companies are aware of the potential benefits of invention harvesting and aspire to begin or expand its use. However, unless they take concrete steps to support and nurture invention harvesting programs, their aspirations may bear limited fruit.