From the vast potential and controversy raised by The Human Genome Project, to big name disputes and anti-trust cases, patent issues are becoming increasingly high profile. Programs like “American Inventor” have inspired millions; invention and entrepreneurial thinking are again on the rise. Across the nation the cry of “eureka” is being heard louder and more often than ever before. It seems likely that new concepts and ideas, or so-called Intellectual Property, may prove to be the principal currency of the New Economy. Kevin Rivette, Author of “Rembrandts in the Attic” – Unlocking the Hidden Value of Patents” explains. “The power of patents today is just being realized after about a 40 year gap – a patent strategy can be very complex or very simple depending on how you want start out, I’ll give you an example of a way I’d suggest companies start out, and its pretty simple, what you do is take a look at your top 5 products that are your real compelling value propositions, that’s what you should protect. In the book “Rembrandts in the Attic”, we call that a “choke point”, find the one area that every one of your competitors has to replicate, and patent that point.”
However have you taken a trip up to your attic lately? Anyone who has spent anytime in an attic knows how difficult it can be to find anything there, let alone something of value. Finding the hidden value in Intellectual Property can prove just as difficult. Several years ago a team of computer specialists from Aurigin, designed a platform that could streamline the time consuming procedure of patent research and acquisition. Blake Bichlmeir has been using the system to develop and maintain an IP strategy for Dupont Incorporated. “Intellectual Property is extremely important to our organization, those patents and know-how provide us with the opportunity to successfully commercialize product and develop new business. Typically most of that intellectual property was tracked via the paper route, and as you can imagine it would take an enormous amount of people to handle that effectively, in today’s world we can no longer afford to do that by paper, we need the advantage of time and speed, in order to do that we’ve got to have web-based and electronic based systems for tracking our intellectual property and those of our competition.”
Today since recently being acquired the Aurigin system is known as Micropatent , and it is still one of the most effective methods of navigating the complex landscape of patents and IP. MicroPatent is the world’s leading source for online patent and trademark information. Combining advanced technology with the most comprehensive, up-to-date IP information, MicroPatent delivers a complete intellectual property solution for online searching, document delivery, patent analysis, file histories, or professional search assistance.
Bruce Story, Intellectual Asset Manager, with Dow Chemical Corporation finds while directing IP has created new challenges, it has also created new opportunities. Says Bruce, “Dow has just undergone a very major merger and acquisition activity and part of the work leading up to that was identifying complementary intellectual property to our own assets and using the tools that we now have available to us we we’re able to find these kinds of patents that are very complementary to ours and so now that we are in the middle of integrating those intellectual properties, the new tools that we have are enabling us to do that with a great deal of speed. Without a doubt over the last 5 to 10 years it’s become increasingly evident that intellectual property is attracting more and more attention with corporations around the world. I would anticipate that that trend would continue for at least the next 5-10 years. I think the future of IP is as a real commodity, as we’re all looking to be able to mine where is the gold, where is the value, and using the new tools that we have available to us we’re able to look at the entire globe’s patent resources to be able to find that new technology that we need, that we can leverage to help our company.”