Just a quick note to say that we are really excited to be participating in a new webinar series for the European Venture Capital Association on IP and investing. Thank you very much to Bernd Geiger of Triangle Venture Capital Group and to Mineke and Ferhan of the EVCA team for thinking of us and for all their hard work. It looks to be a really fun series.
The first in the series will be on 23 September 2009 at 12 noon UK time (BST) or 13:00 CEST. The debut session will dive right in and tackle Best Practise in IP Diligence for Investors and address:
- what is IP and what are intangibles
- why should we care about IP (varying importance for different types of companies)
The session will then dive even deeper into:
- The real world vs the legal and theoretical approaches to diligence
- IP assets diligence (what questions to ask)
- IP risks diligence (working back from full freedom to operate)
- IP ownership (areas to specifically watch)
- Optional diligence areas (Strategy and Governance)
For more, including how to register, see the Best Practise in IP Diligence for Investors on the European Venture Capital Association website. You can always keep up with ipVA’s activities here and over at our news feed on ipvalueadded.com.
I’ve got an email alert for “IP strategy”, and had an interesting hit come up related to our ongoing discussion of teaching the fundamentals of IP in a business context. This time, not in an MBA programme, but rather as part of training lawyers. The law school at Northwestern offers a concentration in “Business Enterprise” as part of their JD (the three year postgraduate US law degree), which is gained by taking a number of approved electives. The one that caught my eye (and my email alert) is naturally:
Intellectual Property Strategy: Domestic and Global Perspectives
What a cool course title! At law school (and in my undergraduate) I always got excited reading through the course catalog — something about all the possibilities for learning new things, almost seemingly without limit. This time, I didn’t see a full course description, but here’s what I would cover or expect to see in a course with this kind of scope:
- The civil law / common law divide on copyright (copyright v author’s rights)
- Human rights perspectives and IP
- An overview of the various international IP institutions (WIPO, UNESCO, WTO, etc)
- The various international IP systems we do have (PCT, Madrid, etc)
- Regional IP systems (Benelux, EU, EPC, OAPI, etc)
- Free Trade Agreements and WTO rules
- Digital technology and the internet (particularly around jurisdictional issues and data havens)
- International private law & IP issues
This is probably just for starters, as having been on both sides of the aisle in a university setting on international IP issues, I can see endless possibilities. One particular angle for teaching the strategy side would be case studies, among which I like to use anime fansubs together with the RIAA, BSA, FAST, and Creative Commons as examples in the copyright space. I can see lots of room for covering NPEs/trolls and why they are prevalent in certain jurisdictions (US) and not so in others (EU) as well.
They also have a number courses in this concentration that would be particularly good for preparing for an in-house IP counsel role, including Taxation of Intellectual Property.
This course and approach adds a further dimension to the ongoing discussion we’re having, partially captured in our article for Managing IP, about how to best approach the IP/Business role within an organisation (the CIPO). One point we’ve been discussing — the risk aversion (or just issue-spotting) approach that gets baked into the lawyer training process. Does it make it more difficult for lawyers to become IP/business leaders? I don’t know the answer, but I do think that courses and concentrations such as this one at Northwestern help to move the ball.
Any thoughts? What would you teach law students about international IP strategy?