IP protection as competitive advantage

Posted on 23/11/2007 · Posted in events, ideas, patents

Massimo De Benedetti was a speaker at the Venice IP International Conference held on the San Servolo island, at the Venice International University.

We like this Fiat man, a portfolio manager for the CRF (the subsidiary overlooking the IP portfolio for the Fiat Group of Companies).
He said simple to understand things, mainly related to his own working experience, explaining how the value chain is changing for this intensive industrial and mechanics enabled Group .
This value chain was: R&D -> Manufacturing -> Sales ->Profit
And now is becoming more like: R&D -> IPR -> Licenses ->Profit

The key here is licensing.
Mr. De Benedetti focused on this issue: if IPRs are becoming a large part of your assets, you have to deploy a clear strategy: keep important and core technologies (=do not license), license important no-core technologies (for cashing in), and dispose of unused and not important IPRs.

He then made a good point: what is not core to you, could be important to others, so try to define your goals as a company and don’t loose money and resources to manage IPRs that don’t count for your company: sell them or license them to others. It could be a win-win situation.

(Chain design, photo courtesy of Matasano)