The latest edition of IAM Strategy 300: The World’s Leading IP Strategists is now available online. As in previous years, it lists individuals that in-depth research has shown to possess world class skills in the development and roll-out of strategies that maximise the value of patent, copyright, trademark and other IP rights.
For 2015, though, we have made one very significant change: for the first time, the guide includes individuals that work at operating companies. This reflects the growing importance that businesses across the world attach to having in-house IP value creation expertise, alongside the legal expertise that has traditionally characterised company IP functions. Notably, there is now an emerging group of senior corporate IP leaders that are not lawyers by training, but instead have backgrounds in other disciplines.
Alongside the operating company listees, the IAM Strategy 300 also features individuals on which the guide has always focused: third-party service providers. These too have a wide range of professional backgrounds and areas of specialisation, including: brokering, defensive patent aggregation, finance, insurance, management consultancy, the law, licensing, mergers and acquisitions, tax and valuation. They are based in centres across the world. A number have been involved in IP-related transactions valued in the hundreds of millions, or even billions, of dollars; while others have advised clients on monetisation strategies that have reaped eight, nine and 10-figure sums.
To build the final list of individuals featured in the guide, our researchers in London, Washington DC and Hong Kong undertook an extensive investigation process. This involved face-to-face and telephone interviews, as well as email exchanges, with senior members of the global IP community. An online form was also created to enable people to make confidential nominations. No individual could qualify for a listing in the IAM Strategy 300 unless he or she was nominated by at least three people from outside of his or her own organisation. But even this did not guarantee inclusion; instead, only those individuals who further research showed to have exceptional skill sets, as well as profound insights into the development, creation and management of IP value, are featured.
We don’t claim to have identified every world class IP strategist out there, but we are confident that all those who have made the final listing deserve to be included. If you disagree let us know. The research process for the 2016 edition will begin in September.