Innovation Asset Blog

Open IP strategy may hold key to innovation

Although intellectual property trends in several major American industries seem to suggest an increased focus on the acquisition and defense of patents, a more open and collaborative attitude toward IP management may be needed to drive the economy back from recession.

According to the Financial Times, the power of purely in-house innovation may be a particularly damaging myth. Although the triumph of the individual inventor may be a more romantic tale, some of the most popular innovations in recent memory have actually come as a result of mutually beneficial IP arrangements.

"Left to its own devices, Apple might never have come up with the iPod," noted FT columnist Louise Lucas. "The now-ubiquitous music player was the brainchild of one Tony Fadell, a former employee of Philips, whose concept failed to raise sufficient funding, prompting him to hawk it around established corporates."

Instead of designing patent strategy "with a view to preventing competitors from getting there first," Lucas noted the merits of more progressive IP management models.

Recent developments in the pharmaceutical industry may provide a case worth following, according to the Washington Times. With Pfizer losing patent protection for Lipitor - the world's best-selling medication - the industry is set for a period of rapid changes as smaller competitors and former powers make sense of the new landscape.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.