Trump, IBM, LinkedIn and a whole lot more in the just-published IAM 82

On a grey 20th January in Washington DC, before a crowd of disputed size, Donald Trump became US president. What his administration might presage for patent owners in the US is the subject of the cover story of issue 82 of IAM, which has now been published and is available to subscribers online (hard copies will hit desks in around a week or so).

While many in the US IP community hope that the arrival of President Trump will herald a new era in which patents become the valuable, enforceable assets they once were - and so-called ‘efficient infringement’ is consigned to history - hope is all they have at the moment.

For although the new government may have been quick off the mark with the enactment of some policies, when it comes to intellectual property the canvas is pretty much blank: we have very little idea what the Trump administration thinks, let alone what it plans to do. To fill the void, we explore what might happen patent-wise under the new president, as well as why and when. If the days since the inauguration are anything to go by, it should be quite a ride.

We also take a deep dive into the strategic thinking of a great name in IP value creation: IBM. One of the original licensing powerhouses, Big Blue has collected billions of dollars over the years not only in royalties, but also from patent sales revenues. Now, though, it is in the process of recalibrating its strategy. We spoke to some of the key personnel charged with making sure this pivot is a success.

Of course, you cannot do what IBM is doing without a world-class IP operation; the challenge for in-house leaders is to build one. While this can seem a daunting task, we have an article which might make it a little easier: a practical guide to ensure that your IP function is the best it can be.

In other pieces, a team of top European practitioners explains what the United Kingdom’s surprise announcement that it will ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement, despite Brexit, means for the creation of a pan-European patent jurisdiction; and we take a closer look at how the controversial inter partes review regime at the US Patent and Trademark Office is beginning to change.

Elsewhere, we explore how Asia’s companies are learning to love convergence and examine the growing appeal of IP-backed financing in Singapore and Malaysia. For deal makers, there is in-depth analysis of the growing attractions of license-on-transfer arrangements. Another highlight of the issue is a fascinating piece on how LinkedIn built a strong patent portfolio in the space of just a few years designed to secure freedom to operate; and there is a detailed report of  events at last December’s IPBC Asia in Shanghai.

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