IAM Magazine issue 02

September/October 2003

Reconstructing Microsoft: the new Marshall plan

In 1992, Marshall Phelps took charge of IBM's drive to commercialise its IP assets. At the time, IBM was a net payer for IP. By the time Phelps left in 2000, Big Blue was bringing in approaching US$2 billion a year from exploiting its rights. Now that Phelps has joined Microsoft as its IP supremo, can he pull off the same trick again? By Rick Marsland

Features

Patent challenges for nanotech investors

Patent portfolios are an essential element in any nanotechnology company’s business prospectus. The problem for investors is in deciding which patents are worth the paper they are written on, and which are not. The task is not made easier by the current problems the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has with nanotech patent applications. By Joff Wild

IP-backed securitisation goldmine or hype

Anyone familiar with the IP-value conference circuit will by now have heard about intellectual property-backed securitisation. Coming at a time when many companies are facing liquidity squeezes, attention has been focused on the previously untapped value residing in intangible assets and the ways in which these assets can be used to plug into readily available asset-backed debt funding. By Nigel Page

An international perspective on brand valuation and management

In all probability a brand is one of the most valuable corporate assets that an organisation possesses. It is unique. It is more than just a trademark or the iconography that appears on stationary or shop front – it is a source of competitive advantage in the market place and, ultimately, it represents a very powerful driver for shareholder value. By Adrian Davis and Lucinda Spicer

Patent mining in a changing world

Patent mining is one of the buzz words of intellectual property management and for many seems to promise untold riches generated from rights portfolios that would otherwise lie dormant. In reality, however, this is very rarely the case. Patent mining is no quick fix, neither is it a solution that will work in all organisations. But for those that are willing to take risks and invest time and money in the process, the benefits could be considerable. By Edward Kahn

Ripped off, mixed up (and burned out?)

There is plenty of music available online, from Eminem to Mahler. But no-one wants to pay for it. The ailing record companies have, until recently, wrung their hands but taken little action. A slew of lawsuits in the US against file sharers has signalled their intention to clamp down. By Adrian Preston

Insights

English patent lawyers are beginning to feel the pinch

It is more expensive to litigate patent cases in England than anywhere else in Europe. And if patent owners do end up before the country’s judges, new research reveals they also have a better than even chance of seeing their rights curtailed.

BP’s intangibles helping to create real dollars

At a conference held in London during the summer, BP’s Group Vice-President for Policy Development explained how intellectual asset management not only adds money to the bottom line, but also has the potential to increase the company’s overall value.

Universities to go it alone as Japanese government calls for more patents

A major structural reform of the university system is the Japanese government’s latest attempt to kick-start a more industry-focused R&D process in the country’s seats of learning.

Columns

Watching the overseers

The failures of companies like Enron and MCI have put the actions, and inactions, of managements under closer scrutiny. But despite all of the attention being paid to tangibles, intangible assets, such as patents - perhaps the area of more significant mismanagement - seem to be escaping any scrutiny at all

What the market foretells

Intellectual property-related concerns and issues will increasingly affect corporate decision-making over coming years

The posts shift for US brand owners

Companies working across a wide variety of industries have come to rely on brands as powerful tools. As the importance of brands has grown, however, a series of recent decisions by leading courts in the US has had a major impact on the legal landscape within which brand owners operate

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Issue 86