The importance of IP management
Intellectual property rights ("IPRs") have negligible intrinsic value. They acquire value, for their owner and for society, by being successfully exploited. A successful exploitation requires that a business enterprise be formed around IPRs in order to reach the goal of commercialization. Worldwide, business people are recognizing that it is intangible assets and IPRs that are driving their enterprises. They are observing the need to manage those assets properly.
The need for IP management skills is fairly well recognized in developed countries that operate with market economies. But even there, all that is available is on-the-job training, supplemented by a smattering of available workshops, seminars and the like. In the developing world, or in nations new to a market economy or the concepts of private property, even this level of training is largely unavailable. Yet the creation of IPRs is gaining momentum in developing nations. So it is here that the need for IP management knowledge and skills is most acute.
In 2009, the Franklin Pierce Center for IP inaugurated an intellectual property management program under the direction of Professor Gordon Smith, who has been a consultant in IP business matters for nearly 50 years and has lectured at UNH Law as an adjunct for 15 years. He has long been of the opinion that IP legal education should include exposure to the financial principles that underly the "business" of intellectual property.
The subject of IP management draws together many skill sets. The investment principles underlying IP valuation are those that apply to all IP economics. But they are but one part of the whole picture. All of the skills that support a successful business enterprise are necessary to successfully exploit IPRs.
This "business" aspect of IP law is made more complex (and more necessary) by the fact that the exploitation of intellectual property can be an extremely complex undertaking, involving a myriad of exploitation modes and opportunities, many parties and a very fast-moving worldwide scope.
Our objective is to expand and enhance the worldwide body of knowledge associated with the management of intellectual property, including its creation, stewardship and exploitation. We will accomplish this by promoting the dissemination of IP management knowledge and best practices worldwide, and to provide a forum for the exchange of IP management thinking among the many and varied constituencies for whom it is important. This effort will draw from the fields of law, economics and commerce, and will focus on practical, real-world issues and solutions.
Business people are being swept into the world of IPRs. To survive, they must become expert exploiters of IPRs. To better serve these clients, IP lawyers must have some understanding of the critical issues and opportunities that their clients face. One of our objectives is to convert today’s “collisions” of business and law into collaboration opportunities for the benefit of clients.
Gordon V. Smith
University of New Hampshire School of Law Distinguished Professor of IP Management
President AUS Consultants/RoyaltySource