Trolls Are Capitalists Too

June 23, 2010 by · Comments Off 

My work with Intangible Capital intersects with the field and practice of intellectual property (IP). In conversations about IP, especially in my monthly programs at the Intangible Asset Finance Society, trolls are a frequent topic of discussion. In fact, some colleagues from IAFS and I ran a workshop about modeling IP-intensive businesses at the recent ICAP Ocean Tomo event that talked about the line between a research organization and a troll.

But I have never spoken up about my view. I don’t really defend trolls. I see the question in a larger context of the operating assumptions broadly held about business and ownership. Read more

Who is in Charge of IP and IC?

May 7, 2009 by · 5 Comments 

I have really enjoyed getting to know Andrew Watson and Jordan Hatcher at ipVA over the last few months. I met with Jordan on my recent trip to London and he sent me a new article that he and Andrew wrote called Fix Your Broken IP Structures from

The article makes a case for a position called the Chief Intellectual Property Officer (CIPO) who is outside the legal department. They use color-based Insights Discovery Learning System to look at the personalities of different departments. Legal departments, they assert, are blue (accurate, ordered and cautious), not the red traits that are needed to exploit IP (decisive, risk taking and results driven). This means that the CIPO would need to be in the sales or strategy areas. It’s a compelling case. Read more

IP and IC — a strategy or the strategy?

March 10, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

I had a really interesting exchange a couple weeks ago on the Tangible IP blog with Andrew Watson and Jordan Hatcher.

The question was: How to define “intellectual property strategy?” By the end, Andrew wrote:

The challenge I see though is that at some point along the scale of how wide the definition is drawn, one ends up almost redefining the business, or needing to turn it upside down to have the impact one wants to have. Few CEOs we know would buy that. So at least for now, we are drawing the box around the bits of intangibles (mainly innovation culture and placing proper systems around how the outputs from that are recognised and protected) that a CEO new to this area can comprehend.

I have been holding myself back on this one. I wasn’t going to answer him. Don’t want to mess with CEO’s. But I couldn’t help myself. So here goes:

I know that few CEO’s are ready or willing to face the fact. But the truth is that the drivers of almost every business today are intangible knowledge assets (which may or may not have legal protection and become IP). Eventually, we will have to redefine the business.