What does effective leadership look like to you?
Effective leadership, to me, can adapt to an ever-changing business and world landscape, as well as to the evolving needs of those they manage. The global landscape, especially, has changed dramatically in the last few years, and business leaders find themselves and their companies having to address issues that, on the face of it, appear to be happening on the other side of the globe. In fact, those issues could be directly affecting how they make money and provide goods and services to their customers. Adaptability seems to be more essential than ever for both companies and leadership. How organisational leadership decides to make critical business model shifts, and what stakeholders they involve to help make those decisions, is telling when differentiating between effective and ineffective leaders.
How do you envisage your IP practice evolving over the next five years as we adapt to a world changed by the pandemic?
For better or worse, the pandemic has brought intellectual property, and the disparities around access to lifesaving technologies, critical raw materials and product components, to the forefront of everyone’s minds. Companies need to be more sophisticated than ever with the type and scope of intellectual property that they create and attempt to capture. This will change my personal IP practice because the data that now needs to be brought to bear for informed decision-making by my clients seems to be growing larger, and this data seems to be coming from more disparate data sources as well. Navigating this information and pulling actionable insights from these broad datasets is going to continue to evolve my practice. Particular companies in certain industries may also need to work even harder to justify their unique approaches to IP creation and capture. I feel that helping them rationalise their decisions with hard data will make up a larger percentage of my work moving forward in the next five years.
How do you build trust and understanding with clients to ensure that they make the most informed IP decisions?
Whenever I begin a new work product for a client, I always make sure I have the right team surrounding me. One that will help steer the project in the proper direction and will listen to who the audience will be, what the ultimate goals of the work are, and what a successful final deliverable will look like. Working in a vacuum and not having multiple touchpoints for the client is almost always a sure way towards a failed work product. Additionally, keeping track of assumptions used and why they were utilised in furtherance of project deliverables is important in building and maintaining client trust during the entire process.
How has use of analytics and AI evolved and developed over the past five years?
AI and analytics have accelerated quickly in the IP industry in the last five years, and I see no reason why they would not continue to evolve. AI is assisting counsel with time-consuming patent application preparation and prosecution work. It is also helping with prior art searching and freedom-to-operate opinion work, especially as the corpus of prior art continues to grow exponentially. While these uses of AI in the IP industry are important, what excites me the most are the possibilities that AI is opening up when it comes to broad IP trending and true analytics. Companies that create intellectual property are getting close to being able to make certain assumptions related to their competitors and other industry stakeholders, and then accurately test those assumptions using AI and more sophisticated analytics. This is helping them make solid, truly data-driven decisions with how to move forward with their intellectual property than ever before.
The landscape for patent eligibility in the United States continues to lack certainty – what predictions would you make for this area in the next 12 months?
With the passage of the new Chips and Science Act in the United States, I think patent eligibility will be tested yet again as companies try to take previously outsourced technology and reinvent it for the global and supply chain realities they now find themselves working in. I predict that in the next 12 months we will see a revisit to the Alice decision and potential revisits to 35 USC 101 on a broader scale than perhaps previously seen.
Shayne Phillips is the director of Analytics Solutions at Anaqua. She graduated with an MS in biochemistry from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Capital University, United States. Ms Phillips is also a US registered patent agent. Her areas of experience include the use of IP information for data-driven corporate decision making and AI and analytical tools development in the IP creation and portfolio management software space.