Don Mattrick, former president of Microsoft's interactive entertainment division, surprised many earlier in the month with his announcement that he would be leaving the firm to assume a new role as the chief executive officer for struggling social gaming company Zynga. As Mattrick begins his transition, industry observers expect his historical familiarity with intellectual property management to serve his future employer well.
Mattrick was instrumental in the rollout of Microsoft Kinect, the pioneering motion-sensing interface for the Xbox 360 gaming console. According to IAM Magazine, this project provided an immense appreciation for the sequential, long-term patent strategies required to develop such disruptive innovations.
Portfolio expansion has also piqued the interest of Zynga in recent years, as the company accrued nearly 90 new patents between February 2012 and January 2013 in an attempt to insulate its operations from potential infringement claims. But according to the news source, the vast majority of these assets came as the result of transfers.
Forbes insisted that Mattrick's arrival could signal a new era of original innovation for Zynga. In the process the company could discard its occasional reputation as a producer of "copycat" games and rebuild its faltering market appeal.