IAM Issue 42

The state of play

An in-depth survey of both
corporate and priv ate practice IP
professionals, jointly undertaken by
IAM and Thomson Reuters, yielded
a number of fascinating findings –
not least of which is just how
dynamic the IP market really is.

Industry insight

Chinese utility models – a lesser-known IP strategy

Although less well known and certainly
less well used by foreign companies, the
Chinese utility model patent system
offers a potentially useful and
strategically valuable route for protection
of inventions, writes Bob Stembridge, the
manager of customer relations at the IP
Solutions business of Thomson Reuters.

Industry Focus: Industrials

This issue's featured industry data includes key patent metrics for companies in the Industrials Industry.

Management report

Trade secrets in Germany

In Germany, “trade secrets” comprise a broad
variety of information, including technical
know-how, commercial data and other
business information. Examples of
information that can constitute a trade secret
include lists of addresses, documents of
commercial offers, composition of materials,
sources of supply, computer programs and
their source code, information about
production processes, lists of customers or
suppliers, market research data, price
calculations and drawings.

Trade secrets in Japan

A “trade secret” is defined as any
production method, sales system or other
useful technical or operational information
related to a business activity that is not
known to the public and that has been kept
in confidence (Section 2(6) of the Unfair
Competition Prevention Act).

Trade secrets in the United States

There is no statutory definition of a trade
secret in the United States. However, there
is a trend towards achieving some
uniformity, with 46 states having adopted
various statutes modelled after the Uniform
Trade Secret Act (UTSA). The UTSA is a
model law drafted by the National
Conference of Commissions on Uniform
State Laws. States that have not adopted the
UTSA (eg, New York), have adopted their
own state statutes and/or continue to apply
common law.

Trade secrets in Mexico

The Mexican legal system establishes
protection for some, though not all,
information. The elements that any given
information must include in order to be
considered as a trade secret are set out in
Articles 82 and following of the Industrial
Property Law.

Features

Value and market price of patents: let’s be realistic

The true value of a patent is an
elusive concept which is tricky to
pin down. While hard data can
assist in a valuation, it is more
difficult to predict the influence that
more intangible elements will have
on market price.

IP superstars

The achievements of IP Hall of
Fame inductees set them apart
from the crowd. Those who have
made it into this elite group this
year are no exception.

Patent power

Companies that sustain high annual
growth rates in patent applications
in comparison to their peers exhibit
greater long-term revenue and
market share growth.

Goldman Sachs: reputation and regulatory risk

Goldman Sachs has been clear for
many years that its reputation is a
key corporate asset. But recent
events have shown that having such
awareness is not always enough.

Inside the world of public auctions

It is relatively easy to identify the
sellers at the public IP auctions
organised by Ocean Tomo between
2006 and 2009, as well as the
prices they achieved. But finding
out who did the buying has been
significantly harder – until now.

The real zombies exist solely on the books

Brands that are not used but kept
alive in company books are not
dead – they are wasted moneymaking
opportunities.

Strategists of the world unite

Although there are many groups and
organisations that represent a
variety of IP professionals and
interests, there is currently nothing
out there that focuses specifically on
IP strategy and strategists. However,
that could be about to change.

Insights

Holding out for a miracle

It is clear that a single EU
patent and unitary court system
are essential if Europe is ever to
be a truly single market, let
alone a dynamic centre of
world-class innovation. But that
does not mean they are
inevitable.

The best of the blog

Intangibles crucial to M&A success, report claims.

Columns

Measures of success

Former chief IP execs at Microsoft, HP,
IBM and Apple were asked to weigh in on
patent performance. What they had to
say may surprise you.

The momentary insider: observations from the legislature

A brief cameo appearance on the
legislative stage yields mixed reviews,
but also some observations and insights.

Google AdWords and trademark infringement

Although a recent decision regarding
Google AdWords issued by the Court of
Justice of the European Union was not
great news for brand owners, it could
have been a whole lot worse.