les Nouvelles - June 2007

Divining The Future Of Intellectual Property

Richard C. Bulman, Jr.

“There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Victor Hugo’s notion was never more true than with the emergence of the commercialization of intellectual property (“IP”). Long illiquid, IP is becoming monetized at a decidedly rapid pace, foreshadowing a rare opportunity to participate in recasting the role of the Idea Business in ways never before seen.

A Time Of Change

The intrinsic value of technology has morphed over the past 25 years. Traditionally, if a person or company desired new technology, it would be developed in-house or acquired from others and used for internal purposes to make or do something useful. IP, at that time, was valued primarily as an incidental part of that desired commercial process. With the advent of the personal computer in the 1980’s, people began to use technology for individual as well as commercial purposes. Licensing technology for personal use became a conventional norm, transitioning technology from an integral part of a production process into a commoditized product. During the dotcom era, IP fully reversed its historical role. Instead of being incidental to a product, or a product to be sold on its own, IP became a driver of value when its worth imbued both product and use components derived from related sales, advertising, customers and collaborations. Just exactly how much value inured to any one technology firm because of stellar IP was regularly determined by both stock exchanges and bankruptcy courts. When operating and liquidation values regularly included “two comma” technologies ( i.e. _,000,000) someone got the keen idea that IP assets might be ripe to exploit on a standalone basic.

Read the Full Article:

Full articles are available only to LESI Members. Please login to view the PDF of this Les Nouvelles Article. 

Not an LESI member? Find out how to join your regional LES society and gain access to all that your LES society and LESI has to offer.

les Nouvelles