We here at Metis Partners have been busy throughout the summer season, but no one more so than Director Stephen Robertson, who’s been racking up the air miles attending and presenting at a number of IP-related conferences over the past couple of months.
IP Business Congress
Stephen’s first trip of the summer took him to Boston, Massachusetts, home of the Boston Red Sox, New England “Chowda” and everyone’s favourite Hollywood upstarts Ben Affleck and Matt Damon – not to mention the 2013 IP Business Congress! A sell-out crowd of over 600 major players from the IP, finance and legal sectors attended the three-day event, taking part in a range of sessions before unwinding at the IP Hall of Fame Gala Dinner, where Stephen’s kilt went down a treat!
The main takeaway from the event was the noticeable shift in the agenda, particularly as it relates to patents – patents were no longer seen as merely an assertive tool for suing competitors or infringers, but as a piece of valuable IP collateral. Discussions also progressed onto the idea of using patents to change cost structures and supply chains, particularly where outsourcing manufacturing under a patent-backed licence would improve company profit margins. Significant emphasis was also placed on IP finance and evolving monetisation models, something Metis is quite familiar with having won a tender from Scottish Enterprise to look into the current state of IP-led financing.
Trade secrets were a particularly hot topic – it was actually the impetus for creating our series of Trade Secrets blogs, as Stephen had been approached by a number of conference attendees hoping to understand what trade secrets were and how they could be protected and/or monetised.
Apart from all the robust IP discussions and debates, Stephen also saw the famed Red Sox beat the Philadelphia Flyers 10-4, and had a chance to practice his moves like Jagger at the Rolling Stones concert at the Boston TD Garden Arena. You know what they say about “all work and no play…”
WIPO Summer School
At the start of July, Stephen made a quick stop at the WIPO Summer School on Intellectual Property in Geneva, a two-week course for IP enthusiasts and young professionals alike. Stephen lectured on IP Asset Mapping, IP Finance and IP Monetisation to the mixed group of graduates and corporate interns. It may come as no surprise that the topic generating the most interest at the seminar was that of IP Valuation, with much discussion and debate centring on whether the income or market approach was the best valuation model. Students were also keen on the concept of using IP as security, with talk turning specifically to the value of mobile “apps” – quite apt, given Google’s recent acquisition of the crowd-sourced traffic app developer Waze for nearly $1 billion.
To learn more about Waze and the importance of a robust IP strategy, check out our article in the July 2013 edition of Global Corporate Venturing Magazine.
If you attended these or other IP-related events, leave a comment below and let us know about your personal experiences and thoughts!