How does your management style ensure that your company stays ahead of the curve?
My management style prioritises delivering top value to our clients. To achieve this, we constantly review our project deliverables and stay agile to match the market trends and inclinations. We also have a strong work culture that encourages the sharing of varied perspectives from all team members so as to avoid an echo chamber.
How do you connect with SMEs and start-ups to help these companies realise the value of their IP assets?
We connect via IPHatch, a regional open-innovation challenge that uniquely offers patents from IP owners such as Nokia, Panasonic and Ricoh. To win these tech patents, interested SMEs and start-ups submit their business proposals and are evaluated on their business models and other enabling assets. IPHatch winners also enjoy outstanding platform support from our institutional partners, tech incubators/accelerators and venture capital firms that collectively offer an invaluable ecosystem of venture funding, mentorship and programme memberships.
To date, we have invested in more than 30 start-ups across Singapore and Hong Kong via the IPHatch open-innovation platform, covering a wide range of industries including telecommunications, augmented reality, the Internet of Things, food and beverage technology, and even tech-enabled mental wellness, to name a few.
What metrics do you use to measure the success of a global IP strategy?
This is by no means an exhaustive list of metrics but we conduct a deep dive into the patent technicalities in order to ascertain how robust and future-proof the intellectual property is, relative to current and future global trends. This analysis gives us a good sense of how well the patents hold up for defensive or offensive strategies. Further, we assess the overall size of the patent portfolios being maintained, as this has a direct impact on the annuities due. These are just some of the metrics used in our in-house dynamic market patent valuation system, Valuation360, which evaluates market, technology and legal potentials. This system helps our clients to manage and commercialise challenging portfolios, and in so doing, uncovers numerous hidden gems in their patent portfolios and generates manifold returns from their investments.
What emerging technologies do you expect to have the biggest impact on industrial trends in the next five years?
We can clearly see the great traction in fintech and agritech as we build valuable collaborations across our ecosystem partners.
We believe that these technologies will continue to gain momentum in the next five years and converge in powerful ways to solve global agricultural challenges and unlock sustainable development goals to achieve a better future for all.
What more could be done to improve the licensing landscape for SMEs in Asia-Pacific?
We believe in taking a more grassroots approach in that meaningful change should begin with the growth of more homegrown technology start-ups across the Asia-Pacific region.
From there, the media and marketing gears within the cities will spin to generate a greater awareness of these tech companies and their business progress. Subject to market forces, some will achieve success while others may falter, but on a whole, we believe that the culture of IP savviness will blossom. The landscape can be further enriched by supportive government policies that incentivise IP filing and the proactive enforcement of IP rights by the authorities.
Jason Loh is an innovator at heart with a mission to drive the growth of companies through the power of intellectual property. He is the founder of Piece Future, an Asian IP investment bank with strategic investments in more than 30 start-ups across Asia. Piece Future serves as a vital key in the IP innovation ecosystem, providing IP-driven business solutions to multinationals and startups, uncovering hidden gems in their patent portfolios and generating manifold returns from their investments.