Issue 78 of IAM is now online and available to subscribers. The cover story this time round focuses on the IAM benchmarking survey, which has been a regular annual feature of the magazine for a few years now. Each February and March, we ask our readers who work in corporate IP departments, NPEs and law and attorney firms to give us 20 to 30 minutes of their time to answer a series of questions designed to drill down into their perceptions of various major IP market related issues. And each year we are gratified that hundreds respond. The survey questions – which are specially compiled for each of the three groups we target – help us to understand what is going on out there, thus ensuring that our coverage is as current and as relevant as possible. Beyond that, however, the results allow our readers to see whether their contemporaries in other businesses and in other parts of the world see things in the same way as they do.
Thus, if you are an upbeat optimist who believes that the IP market has never been better, you will quickly discover from this year’s survey that you are currently the exception rather than the rule. For the overriding mood reflected in the benchmarking tables and charts is low key to say the least. According to our readers, it is tough going out there – and it could get tougher still. That said, amid the gloom there is some room for optimism, especially if you are based in Europe (although a Brexit vote could change all that). One item in the survey that is always looked at closely is how our readers rate the relative performances of the IP5 offices (the EPO, the JPO, the USPTO, KIPO and SIPO). We’ll have more about that on the blog later this week.
There’s also another survey in IAM 78 – this one of university technology licensing functions. It reveals that elite academic and research institutions have multiple ways of managing the patent assets that they own. We also take a deep dive into the Asian market with a series of enlightening articles. There is an overview of how rapidly the region’s IP scene has changed over recent years and a roundtable in which senior Asian corporate IP managers discuss their responses to the challenges they face at home and further afield. We also profile Siam Cement, a long-established Thai company that has developed a world-class IP strategy, and look at a Korean approach to patent management in lean start-ups.
Elsewhere, we explore how the growing threat of fee shifting is changing the calculations in US patent litigation and explain why NPEs now have no choice but to rethink their established business models. Look out too for our annual listing of every entity that owns 1,000-plus active US patents. With plenty more besides, including a special management report on issues affecting FRAND and standard-essential patents, subscribers will be kept busy right up until issue 79 appears at the end of July.