IPBC – harnessing IP value
IPBC Europe (Amsterdam, 20/21 March) focussed on the need for all companies to have a robust IP strategy. This is a welcome change of tack from the obsession with patent reform and NPE litigation. Commenting on the event Nigel Swycher, Aistemos CEO said: “Many of us remember a time when IP strategy was a buzz word without definition. All that has changed. IPBC provided a roadmap and practical for companies across all sectors and at all stages of development”.
Highlights for us included the keynote from Lucy Wojcik, Head of IP at Ocado. Lucy delivered an engaging description of her journey since 2012, and the evolution of corporate understanding of IP. This was a tale of winning hearts, minds and stomachs. Creating the right incentives to engage (sometimes pizza) and the right rewards (inventor recognition). Most of all perseverance. Ocado is now a global logistics platform – delivering over 250,000 shopping orders a week, all using state of the art robotics and logistics. Lucy is also a huge fan of Cipher and we are delighted to provide the analytics they need to understand complex technology landscapes and manage risk. This is our earlier interview with Ocado 10x when they launched their autonomous delivery trial.
This was immediately followed with a session on building a 21st Century IP function with a line up from Centrica, Nokia, Philips, Avantium and Barclays. A very broad spectrum – Ilkka Rahnasto has seen it all and delivers over €1bn of IP revenue to the business. Hard to ignore. Philips has for the longest time been held up as the epicentre of European IP strategy. That doesn’t mean it that it is immune from market forces, but it has well established internal communication channels that help. Calum Smythe gave the Fintech perspective – patenting strategy is fairly new. He brought the house down with his thought for the day “abandon all logic”. Apologies if that gets lost in the retelling. See here for our Fintech report, which outlines some of the challenges.
We would also mention the IP insurance panel. This is a topic we follow closely (and provide IP risk analytics to leading MGA CFC). Pascal Asselot was representing Ajax IP. Watch this space. Erich Spangenberg is involved with IPwe. Listen to our interview here.
We asked Lucy Wojcik for the best advice she could offer someone building an IP function: “make sure you have buy-in from above. Make sure you can communicate with everybody across the whole company and always have something short to say”. Taking Lucy’s advice we’ll stop there.