Posts tagged as:

mba and ip

IP strategy at Northwestern

by Andrew Watson on 17 August 2009

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?


Building an IP strategy reading list

by Andrew Watson on 23 March 2009

One thing I’ve been informally working on is building out a reading list on Intellectual Property strategy.  I know that there are a quite a few books out there dealing with (specific) aspects of the topic, as well as numerous articles in industry publications and law reviews, but what lies at the core?

What materials would you use to teach IP strategy?

This could be in the context of teaching MBAs about IP, a CLE/CPD to lawyers, or training a business’s board and management about IP. Of course a large part of the answer depends on how you define IP strategy, as when you start talking about intellectual capital it can cover virtually everything about a business, including how you motivate and manage human capital.

As a research brief, I phrased it in the context of teaching, as I think that this brings focus to the core of the ideas and techniques that form the structure that can later be built on with more specifc and multi-layered activity. I do want to focus though on a wide range of materials around IP, or more broadly the “intangibles”, for both practising IP strategists  and for those who just need to know the basics in order to understand this element to their business.

The IP strategy reading list would likely break down into:

  • The basics of Intellectual Property rights (for those that need to know more about IP).
  • Sources outlining the importance of intellectual capital and its relevance to business.
  • Books / articles outlining specific strategies (such as building an IP thicket)  — taking care to focus on all areas of IP and not just patents.
  • Reference material for the IP strategist.

Any suggestions for the list?

I’ll be adding pages and developing content for each of these four areas over the coming months, so please send in your suggestions.


MBAs and IP: Survey of course offerings

January 16, 2009

The previous post on this topic, MBA courses and IP: Introduction, outlined some thoughts on why IP should be a part of getting an MBA, particularly because intellectual property plays an increasing role in virtually every kind of business. Effectively managing and developing a business, more often than not, requires effectively managing and developing IP […]

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MBA courses and IP: Introduction

January 14, 2009

Neil Wilkof of Herzog, Fox & Neeman and the IP Finance blog teaches IP to MBAs and has related a number of his thoughts from this experience, both on IP Finance and in letters to IAM (Issue 33).  His recent letter to IAM about the importance of IP and teaching it to MBAs got me […]

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