IP Management: History and Future

IP management is a “new-born” discipline. Traditionally, IP departments were under the oversight of General Counsel. Therefore, their role has been characterized from the risk management perspective. ‘Assist the business stick out of trouble and your occupation requirements were fulfilled’ says one legal practitioner that wants to remain anonymous.

Patents were used to construct fences to protect items or in an attempt to keep away from another business’s sphere. This left the invalidation of the filing of oppositions to somebody else’s patents the main task of patent practitioners.

Such activities rarely grabbed the interest of senior management. In the beginning, the Chief Financial Officer had just to take care of the reddish amounts produced by the IP team. These actions were often regarded as a ‘high priced, but necessary bad.’

Costs somewhat rise when internal counsel asks assistance from an outside counselor. Exactly why a range of attorneys in a business, require a plethora of attorneys outside the business to be operational, may seem like a puzzle. For certain, it doesn’t help mitigate the cost.

Throughout the 1990s that several litigations triggered significant damage awards. These captured the eye of people at large and IP management began to become famous beyond expert circles. The most modern of those cases is likely Apple versus Samsung, at which around a billion dollars were at stake.

The business of Licensing

At precisely the same period U.S. organizations started to use new models and hunted to know what to do with their IP. Enormous tech firms, such as IBM experimented from the mid-1990s in using brand new revenue-generating models like selling and licensing IP. Plus, a fresh creation of IP managers was attracted to Microsoft to address their IP problem of no collaborations. This has been done by altering IP protection from copyright to patents. Generating income from IP enabled these branches to reevaluate their reputation within in addition to out of the business.

Center to these changes has been an alteration at how these IP managers looked at IP and how they identified themselves. To put it differently, IP departments began to comprehend themselves as IP management practices, instead of simple administrators. That triggered a shift in outlook and also gave way to the new business model for intellectual property.

This comprised a distinct value proposal for companies. In the place of doing whatever in-house, purchase production facilities and warehouses, and sales stations, you might only permit the rights towards this inherent tech and overcome the market without committing to developing physical infrastructure.

This has been an essential stepping stone towards building a market, driven by abstract principles as opposed to infrastructure. A market where rights to technology might be more favorable than ownership of extensive production centers.

These trends have been followed closely by the integration of worldwide financial activity and a further specialty of firms. Rights at a tech proved always simpler to’send’ across the whole world compared to technology. Vast markets can be created without even bothering a lot about the materials. Interestingly, this generated more as opposed to less work for the attorneys, since the licensing of IP required complex contracts and competent licensing professionals.

Yet, and this is possibly the pitfall, all these activities also have been jeopardized with anti-competitive behavior and driven businesses to cover substantial amounts in compensation because of such behavior. The interaction between the IP and anti-trust legal organizations is currently a critical aspect of many IP businesses.

Patent Assertion Entities also have entered the stadium. Other negative effects would be that licensing trades are interwoven with the risks related to injunctions.

All in all, the licensing of IP has not established itself as a tool of open, collaborative exchange of tech. Rather, it’s stayed an extremely contested region, which made a few firms to assert that the old days were better compared to the recent IP monetization era.

The Long Run

The jump from patent fencing to growing markets for licensing has been followed closely by a further distinction of industry models. As organizations continued to concentrate in a specific area, the necessity to license technology from other businesses improved. In the same period, the patent sphere itself witnessed an essential revolution of its business version. Astute managers sought approaches to work their IP tougher. Being attorneys by commerce, their comprehension of these business models stayed closely intertwined with the tools of their trade. Litigation has hugely increased.

Against this backdrop, the major thing to ask is exactly what direction IP will take. For me, it’s a shift in the motivation for certification which is going to be the best match changer. I predict that improved technology enables a boost in the quality of patents and also enhance validity prices.

At the same time, I expect the IP business model to experience additional changes. The existing exhibition practice can be substituted with Open Innovation viewpoints, where IP creates the basis of reciprocal market, joint ventures, and transfer of technology. New technologies will change humankind. The rights to those technologies will probably continue to play a major role.

How exactly we consider such rights and how people construct their function is likely to change later on. Litigation isn’t quite a tool of IP control; it is just a last resort if businesses can not fix a battle. As an alternative, I hope that we’ll have more and more firms in the industry which is likely to use the commercialization of intellectual property as the center of their enterprise. Within this new world, IP will function as the money of this knowledge-based market and its value proposal will probably be closely interwoven with business practices, which can be driven by Open Innovation. Within this age, the evaluation of IP can play a crucial role.