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Archived updates for Monday, August 30, 2004

IAM: GE's IP (Licensing) Revolution

According to the August/September 2004 Issue of Intellectual Asset Management, companies that spend billions of dollars on R&D and tens of millions more on securing patents to protect the results of this work are clearly making a substantial investment. But quality intellectual property just sitting in a portfolio gathering mothballs is going to do very little in the way of contributing to the bottom line. The challenge for GE's new Corporate Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Todd Dickinson, is to develop a strategy that will allow GE to make more of the intellectual property it owns.

"You are going to see GE being more proactive in the way that it uses its intellectual property. One of the things I have to look at is whether we are extracting the value from our IP that justifies the investments we have made in creating it," he says. However, he also stresses this is not just about the straightforward monetisation of portfolios. "There are also ways to manage IP strategically for value, such as tax issues, donations and joint venturing, that all have to be looked at . . . We have several licensing organisations, including a central one, and they all have a direct reporting line into me, as well as to other people. We have to decide how to manage the relationships involved and to work out whether it can be done in a more coordinated fashion. The answer is probably yes it can but we also have to come up with a system that continues to respect the individuality of the separate operations."
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