According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, intellectual property in the U.S. is worth more than $5 trillion—about twice the amount of the current federal budget. The question: Are companies taking advantage of this value?
Not as much as they could be, is the answer from Harvard Business School professor Josh Lerner, an expert in intellectual property protection and commercialization. He believes many companies have failed to recognize the growing importance of IP in the global economy. "It has become more essential than ever that firms have a clear policy for maximizing the value of their intellectual property," he says.
Many companies fail to develop a strategy around protecting and monetizing their intellectual property. In this Q&A, Harvard Business School professor Josh Lerner discusses current trends in IP including the rise of patent pools. Key concepts include:
In many cases, firms are ignoring the increased role of intellectual property in today's economy and failing to monetize their holdings.
Intellectual property protection must be seen as not a cure-all, but rather as a tool with both strengths and weaknesses.
The increasing use of patent pools to share technology is one method for firms to avoid costly litigation arising from overlapping patent awards.
To read more asbout this interview:
Josh Lerner is the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School.
The interview was conducted by Sean Silverthorne he is the editor of HBS Working Knowledge
(Republished with permission of HBS KW)
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