IAM Issue 42

July/August 2010

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.