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Posts Tagged: "intellectual assets"

When Failure Becomes an Asset

Failure is success if we learn. So why shouldn’t failure qualify as a trade secret? Competitors would love to avoid making the effort and taking the risk… Negative information is most commonly put at risk not by theft of the records of R&D, but by departing employees who are familiar with how a particular technical solution was created or optimized. Eager to help their new colleagues, a recent arrival may wince at a suggested development path and blurt out a warning not to go there. Even very general pointers about an engineering direction to try or to avoid can help a competitor reduce risk and shorten development time. That is why hiring someone who has worked on a similar project for a competitor can lead to trouble.

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.

On the Record with IAM’s Richard Lloyd

I think it’s interesting to see how people present this as a bipartisan issue but that covers up the fact that actually there are some very clear splits within the parties themselves. A number of the conservative think tanks and interest groups have come out and come out very strongly against broad-based patent reform. But, if you look at some of the Republicans in the House and Senate who support legislation they have not really addressed that property right piece and have focused more on litigation reform and things like fee shifting which they feel need to be part of any strong reform package. So the politics is quite split and is actually quite nuanced which I’m not sure people always appreciate.

Are Patents Getting Their Mojo Back?

After a 13% decrease in patent litigation in 2014, we are currently back to the same level of activity that we saw historically, with 2015 shaping up to have an average of circa 5000 new cases. Now the REALLY interesting data point is that most cases (roughly 70%) were brought this year by an operating company… Although the pendulum has by no way stopped its course and there are still many forces at work that wish to push it to swing even further, its momentum has definitely slowed.

IP Strategies for Changing Times

The vast majority of the assets developed and owned by technology companies are intangible assets, i.e. they reside in their internal information and employees’ brain (Intellectual Capital or “IC”) and the output thereof (Intellectual Property or “IP”). It is estimated that in excess of 85% of the valuation of the NASDAQ Index companies (and of the new global wealth being created) lies in intangible assets. With smaller technology companies, this percentage is sometimes close to 100%. Nowadays, most technology based companies eventually fail or succeed in large part because of the way they handle their intellectual capital assets and convert those into strategic intellectual property assets.

Helping start-ups turn ideas into valuable assets

The first thing we do is we assess the idea. And when we assess the idea we verify that the idea can lead to the creation of intellectual property. Because for me, if that’s not the outcome, then it’s not an idea worth pursuing. The second thing we’re looking for is merit. So we’re checking: is that a good idea? From my experience of 20 years in Silicon Valley, it all really comes down to the connection between the idea and the founder. Some people are trying to sell somebody else’s ideas. That’s not a good idea.

Exclusive Interview with Doug Croxall of Marathon Patent Group

Doug Croxall is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Marathon Patent Group, which is a patent acquisition and licensing company. I met Croxall in New York City in November 2014 at the IP Dealmakers Forum. Croxall has been successful in the patent monetization business for years and had a unique prospective on patents as an asset. “If you are going invest your family’s fortune, I don’t think you will put all your money in one equity,” Croxall explained on the panel so it is the same thing with respect to an asset or a portfolio of assets.” He would go on to say that Marathon Patent Group has learned from “what worked in other asset areas and applied it to this one.”

Toxic Asset: The Gradual Demise of the American Patent

Not such a long time ago, owning a US patent was worth something! A patent was often the foundation for new and exciting startups, as well as a source of pride –and hopefully profits- for inventors. These assets promised competitive and strategic advantage in the market; conduits to new investment and deterrence to free riders… If the current trend is not soon reversed, others countries will become flagships for patent protection and the US might very well become the new China; an environment where innovation is no longer rewarded and where it pays more to follow than to lead. This would be a very sad and totally self inflicted demise “Made in America.”

Effectively Sourcing and Diligencing an IP Investment

A practicing entity may want to obtain one or more patents is for potential counter assertion against a competitor that is about to or has already sued the entity. In such a case, the scope of the search and the required due diligence may be very particularized to the competitor’s business, and are likely to require a higher level of analysis which is more particularized to a specific group of products or services. Similarly, an organization may desire to acquire, early-on, patents and applications that may be asserted down the road to avoid future litigation. This type of program seeks to acquire for a smaller value today, what may be asserted against the entity for a larger demand in the future. The diligence in such a circumstance should be focused on the risk of sale to an entity that is likely to assert the patent in the future.

Best Practices for Fostering a Culture of Innovation

Many great companies accomplish innovation objectives under the leadership of household-name visionary leaders such as Bill Gates and Andy Grove. But we all know that people don’t stay with companies forever, and the culture must be prepared to innovate with or without their day-to-day presence. Companies that are overly dependent on the physical presence of their founders cannot be sustained. The marketplace seems to be confident, for example, that Apple® will continue to thrive without the dynamic leadership of Steve Jobs, may he rest in peace, because he established a genuine and sustainable culture of innovation. Team-driven innovation will create leaders at all levels that can sustain, perpetuate, and strengthen the founder’s vision long after he or she steps down from the helm of the company. Investments in training, commitments to empowerment and delegation, and the development of meaningful succession plans are all critical elements of this process.

Are Your Corporate Transactional Attorneys Harming Your Future IP Strategy?

Entering into a corporate transaction without a careful review of the intellectual property (IP) involved can have negative consequences on an enterprise’s future IP strategy. This is especially true when IP owners do not adequately supervise the corporate attorneys who are preparing the “customary” documents for a merger, acquisition, joint venture formation, equity investment, bridge loan or any other type…

Open Innovation is the Answer for the U.S. Economy

Innovation and how to foster next generation technologies is a topic of very active discussion within businesses across the country. But how can America continue to be one of the most innovative countries in the world? The rapid adoption of IP management and licensing platforms built around social collaboration seems to lead us to one answer – open innovation. Indeed, with today’s technology allowing for the seamless transfer of information – R&D departments have little to no choice but to begin to embrace the open innovation model and use it to their advantage. Understanding your intellectual assets and being able to capitalize on them in order to generate more revenue must be an important part of managing IP and fostering innovation.