IAM Issue 2

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


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

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

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

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

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


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.


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