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Interview with Paul Fehlner

CIP is 20 years old this year.  What are the major changes that you have seen in the IP world over the past 20 years?

This is one area where harmonization has increased. The other big change is that the US has become more anti-patent by elevating patent eligibility to a super-patentability requirement that knocks out important biotechnology and digital technology inventions.

What do you see as the major IP changes or challenges for the next 20 years?

On the positive side, personal data may be recognized and protected as an IP right. IP-fueled open innovation platforms may accelerate development across fields beyond software and basic research. On the negative side, anti-IP forces made up of critics of IP rights on the left and entrenched businesses that want to suppress competition on the right both have the potential to harness popular opinion against new technology, and IP will be a victim or at best become irrelevant.

What advice do you have on how to manage IP in times of crisis?

Consider alternate scenarios and make decision that would be the same for all or most of the scenarios. It’s unlikely that any scenario will arrive as anticipated, but decisions that are right for different theoretical scenarios are more likely to work for actual future events.

Will this current crisis create changes in how IP is used or managed and, will it last beyond the crisis?

The COVID-19 challenge has the potential to demonstrate the value of open innovation in biopharmaceutical research, reducing the tendency to secrecy in terms of manufacturing, clinical data, and regulatory filings. The COVID-19 Technology Access Platform, based on the acknowledgement of and respect for IP rights, could head off anti-IP actions such as compulsory licenses and arbitrary patent revocations or blatant refusal to enforce patent rights.

About Paul Fehlner’s role

I support research, development, and commercialization of products by building a comprehensive IP plan around the company strategy. We keep elements of exclusivity, reputation, and collaboration continuously in mind. All this work has to fit into the company’s culture. I am involved in company management, especially climate and culture.

Interview with Henrik Olsson

CIP is 20 years old this year.  What are the major changes that you have seen in the IP world over the past 20 years?

Breakdown of classical value chains into networks where intangibles, and their management, play a key role. Also, there are new technologies and globalization. Right now, many companies are in the process of understanding and adjusting their business and internal ways of working to win in the new business reality.

What do you see as the major IP changes or challenges for the next 20 years?

Holistic: The optimization goes from individual types of IPRs to build a platform of control where you have a mix of business operating models, IPRs, agreements, and trade secrets. The IPR community is now adjusting to this. The pressure to deliver commercial value: Companies increasingly want to know and see the commercial contribution from IP (today and future). Relevant stakeholders in a company are normally willing to take part in IP operations – as long as they understand why.

What advice do you have on how to manage IP in times of crisis?

Keep cool – don’t do the wrong things. There can be a lot of pressure to cut costs, but that has to be done in an intelligent way so that the future is not harmed. Perhaps future historians, when describing our current times, will talk about: “COVID19 mistakes” IP is a long term activity. Hopefully, COVID19 is a short one. It is important to remember that some industries are in a crisis and others blossom.

Will this current crisis create changes in how IP is used or managed and, will it last beyond the crisis?

A stronger focus on doing the right things – more selective actions Stronger commercial focus Shifting focus to “must-haves” rather than “nice-to-haves”.

About Henrik Olsson’s role

I strengthen the competitiveness and profitability of companies.

Interview with Béatrix de Russé

CIP is 20 years old this year.  What are the major changes that you have seen in the IP world over the past 20 years?

20 years ago, there was an increased awareness of the benefits of IP at the Board level in many companies; now it seems that this trend has more or less disappeared, except in Asia. China has emerged as a major IP actor, as evidenced by the number of filed patents and the establishment of special IP courts. But Europe is proving more resistant to IP coordination and reinforcement ( UPC, European patent …). The USA is again becoming more patent adverse. The opposition between IP promoters and their opponents has reached an unprecedented level.

What do you see as the major IP changes or challenges for the next 20 years?

More pressure on IP and increased difficulties for IP holders due to the current challenging of various groups promoting the free use of innovation; Chinese IP holders ” invading” the rest of the world with their patents ( quality will improve) and forcing westerners to use their technologies; continuous anti IP lobbying in sectors such as green and clean technologies or pharmacy; difficulties to adapt current IP rights to digital and dematerialized innovation.

What advice do you have on how to manage IP in times of crisis?

Continue to promote IP at all levels: governments, corporations, SMEs, etc; continue to innovate and file patents, while thinking of potentially new IP rights adapted to the new world; press for more coordination at worldwide level, including with China.

Will this current crisis create changes in how IP is used or managed and, will it last beyond the crisis?

Either this crisis will open eyes on the need for more coordination at regional and worldwide levels and efforts may lead to a revival of IP, even in different forms and to greater innovation for, ao, the pubic welfare. Or clusters will appear and major corporations will use their rights for their sole benefit, reducing competition, increasing prices, and impairing innovation…

About Béatrix de Russé’s role

After 20 years as the head of IP and Licensing at Thomson/Technicolor, I am now a consultant in IP strategy, licensing, etc.

Interview with Robertha Höglund

CIP is 20 years old this year. What are the major changes that you have seen in the IP world over the past 20 years?

The strategic importance of China as a market and region, the improvement and development of the Chinese IP system to be fairer to foreign companies; the sophistication in IP strategy in big tech companies such as Philips; Digitalisation, and big data. Even in very traditional production companies like Elkem these topics are very relevant and we deal with big data. We just created a Digital Office with a Head of Digital to coordinate all efforts in the organization via agile methodology. I also see many and more sophisticated products (software) to manage IP. Interesting Softwares to create patent Budgets, patent landscapes, patent metrics, Dashboards, interesting IP management systems, innovation systems, AI loaded Trademark search databases.
While trade secrets have always being used, the knowledge and awareness on how to manage them have increased at least in the last 5 years due to legislation in the USA and Europe. I have also seen an increase in litigations specifically related to Trade Secrets. I also have noticed a re-invention of classical IP firms to become more of a business adviser. For example Awapatent now rebranded as AWA. Gone are the golden days when IP law firms were charging so much for doing only translations and extending PCT Applications. Taking attorney fees for many tasks that were purely administrative. Lastly, this one is not a major change, but the proportion that intangible assets have in the valuation of a company has increased with an additional 4%.

What do you see as the major IP changes or challenges for the next 20 years?

Artificial Intelligence. It is a challenge in the way that we will see more inventions generated by AI entities and right now current IP laws are not written to protect such inventions as they are meant to protect the efforts of the human mind. I believe that in the very long term, these laws may change, but then we also need the creation of new laws to define an artificial entity and its rights. Another challenge that I see is still the lack of understanding about IP outside of the IP bubble. It is still normal to have ignorance about IP in the c-suite. Maybe a challenge for us practitioners is to speak a language that business people understand.
I hope that a positive IP change in the next 20 years is the inclusion of IP courses as part of the normal curriculum in business, medical and engineering schools. It should not be a niche education! In my opinion, IP courses are as important as basic finance courses. Very costly mistakes are done because young students that become professionals don’t have a clue about IP. I cringe when I hear colleagues say they will patent a word. But that really does not have any economic impact, but when a researcher comes up with something new and he/she publishes it before patent protection, good luck with the damage control.

What advice do you have on how to manage IP in times of crisis?

Don’t panic and don’t lose your long term focus. All crises past at some point and you must be prepared for the good times. Of course don’t indulge with registrations you don’t need but keep protecting your assets. In the world of patents, a missed deadline to enter the national phase is a missed deadline. So if the product is strategic, take the cost, and suck it up. Better times will await.
Also, talk your way with your agents to negotiate better rates and explore the use of specialized translations firms that can give you savings when dealing with multiple translations for entering the national phase of a PCT application. Negotiate with your suppliers when the time to renew the contract for whatever software you use arrives. You need the product, your manager is pushing you to cut costs, and sellers want to sell as they earn on commission so often times they are willing to give discounts in times of crisis.

Will this current crisis create changes in how IP is used or managed and, will it last beyond the crisis?

If you are talking about the pandemic with Covid-19, nothing has really changed for us in terms of serving our internal customers. We keep super busy. However, a positive consequence of this pandemic has been the forced digitalization pace in the IP department. We have made considerable improvements in our internal routines to deal with less paper and having a true mobile IP department. We also have had more efficient and cheaper meetings because they are executed via TeamsMeetings.
So we should definitely keep these good habits after Covid-19. We also used the opportunity to take many interesting Webinars on different IP topics that we found via LinkedIn. They were for free and very useful. One thing that is not the same is the face-to-face IP training for particular groups of employees. The internal courses are appreciated and we like to organize them as we also have some sort of social moment. For this we very much hope we are able to resume our training after the autumn, but it is not certain it will happen.

About Robertha Höglund’s role

Manage the Intellectual assets of Elkem ASA, educate employees on the topic of Intellectual Property, and draft IP policies in the Company. And what I dream that I do is to generate a super IP savvy C-suite in my organization. I hope one day I do that.

Interview with Raymond Millien

CIP is 20 years old this year. What are the major changes that you have seen in the IP world over the past 20 years?

I think the one major change I have seen is the recognition of the value of IP by not only the C-suite but also the financial community-at-large (i.e., “Wall Street”). When I started practicing IP law over 20 years ago, it was still seen as some niche area of the law with little business value. This has obviously changed in the last two decades.

What do you see as the major IP changes or challenges for the next 20 years?

In the next 20 years, I see one main challenge in the IP space (and this is something that remains unsolved since I have been in this field): How do we get more certainty around the value of individual IP assets and then bring liquidity to such valuations. Still, today, that remains a challenge!

What advice do you have on how to manage IP in times of crisis?

There is no doubt that in times like this, managing IP has to revolve more around trade secret identification and protection! This is due to the fact that we are living through a time of massive layoffs, heightened job uncertainty, and increasing opportunistic job-switching. The historical and typical approach of focusing solely on patents will not work!

Will this current crisis create changes in how IP is used or managed and, will it last beyond the crisis?

I sure hope it does! In times of crisis, people get more innovative. These “people” cannot be limited to IP clients. It has to apply to the IP industry (i.e., the lawyers, agents, service providers, etc.) as well!!!

About Raymond Millien’s role

As CIPO at Volvo Cars, I am responsible for leading the Intellectual Property (IP) department, and I am also the MD of our corporate venture capital arm. Thus, I would sum up my role by saying the teams I have the fortune of leading try to be an effective business partner in driving the growth of Volvo Cars. This is done by identifying, protecting, monetizing, and investing in the IP rights surrounding our brands, those resulting from R&D, and complimentary startup technologies and solutions.

Interview with Brian Hinman

CIP is 20 years old this year. What are the major changes that you have seen in the IP world over the past 20 years? 

The IP world has seen many significant changes overall, with the most significant being a worldwide appreciation for the value of IP in an organization. The shift from tangible to intangible assets is pronounced and has garnered the attention of C suite executives in every organization since it reflects the strength of innovation and how impactful the intangible (IP) fruits of this innovation can be on the revenue stream of any company. Another major change has been in the growth of IP litigation from both competitors and Non-Practicing-Entities (NPEs).
This growth creates major disruption for every technology industry and has resulted in the emergence of patent defensive entities like AST (which I founded), RPX, Unified Patents (which I co-founded), LOT, OIN, etc. Another significant change has been the emergence of SEP’s (Standard Essential Patents) which are patents that claim inventions that must be used to comply with a technical standard. Determining which patents are essential to a particular standard can be complex and there are certain rules that require licensing of SEPs to be on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. The inability of worldwide courts to consistently rule on what is considered FRAND has been a heavily debated topic that is still unsettled.

What do you see as the major IP changes or challenges for the next 20 years?

I think there will be further sharing of best practices among the world’s leading patent offices to ensure better alignment and to address shortcomings on issues such as patent quality and cost. In addition, the role of technologies like artificial intelligence will become fully embraced by these patent offices in securing quality claims in a timely manner.
An area of IP that has exploded with growth is in the area of trade secrets, and this will continue to be an area that companies will embrace, but these companies will also need to address potential shortcomings in their ability to identify, protect and manage these ‘crown jewel’ assets. Legislations like the DTSA, the EU Trade Secrets Directive, and the Anti-Unfair Competition Law in China will continue to have an effect on streamlining how trade secrets will be interpreted by the court systems worldwide.

What advice do you have on how to manage IP in times of crisis? 

Companies will need to focus on reducing expenses to preserve cash, seeking capital for liquidity, and move to protect their balance sheets in the hope of re-imagining a stronger future. IP assets are critical to addressing these crisis-driven objectives. Companies need to address the balance between spending money to secure an optimal IP portfolio (inclusive of all types of IP) and at the same time focusing on quality. These companies need to re-examine key innovation initiatives while focusing on enterprise value creation through IP build strategies.

Will this current crisis create changes in how IP is used or managed and, will it last beyond the crisis? 

I think the current crisis has already affected companies in how they contain costs associated with patent portfolio management and are taking a closer look at individual assets to try and determine relevance and strategic importance. This will continue beyond the current crisis since it is a prudent exercise to embark upon and companies are recognizing this.

About Brian Hinman’d role

Brian Hinman is the Chief Commercial Officer of Aon IP Solutions part of the senior leadership team, which delivers IP solutions that enhance our client’s enterprise value by executing IP‐based value creation strategies and mitigating IP risk exposure. Brian helps lead the efforts for Aon in seizing the generational opportunity to establish market‐accepted standards for assessing and valuing the IP asset class for businesses and investors.