Monday, June 6, 2016

Innovation is not about Beanbags

In the 1980s, Japan was hailed as an “economic miracle”. There were best-selling books such as Ezra Vogel’s “Japan as Number One: Lessons for America” and SONY President Akio Morita’s “Made in Japan”. American electronic and automobile manufacturers were caught by surprise by the success of Japanese manufacturers.

One thing that became apparent on visits to Japanese factories was that they used impressive manufacturing robots. American manufacturers raced to catch up. They invested in expensive robotics. This was done without looking at any of the less-visible aspects of the Japanese miracle. The investment in robots was an increased expense that did not yield the ultimate competitive benefits in terms of quality or productivity that justified the expense incurred.

I attended a conference in China where one keynote speaker from a large Western multinational corporation described their approach to innovation. We heard about the more than 100 years of history, the thousands of employees and the billions spent on R&D. Then we heard about the big plan for innovation. A team would be given 5 weeks to focus on bringing innovative projects. They would be given beanbags.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Still underestimating China?

The Economist magazine has a piece this week entitled "Patent Fiction". They take issue with the findings in a Thomson Reuters' report "China IQ (Innovation Quotient)" that looks at the latest data on the growth of invention patent applications.

It is funny how they trot out the old quantity-versus-quality cliche. I predicted that response 4 years ago when this shift was becoming apparent. It indicates a dangerous level of complacency.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ireland to host local division of Unified Patent Court


Richard Bruton, the Irish Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, has announced that Ireland will host a local division of the Unified Patent Court (UPC).

The UPC is a key part of the Patent Package that is currently in the process of being ratified in Europe. Its adoption depends on ratification by 13 Member States.

Ireland's proposed Knowledge Development Box

The 2015 Budget speech by the Irish Minister for Finance mentioned that Ireland is taking steps to develop a "Knowledge Development Box" (KDB). Most people took this as meaning that it would be implemented in 2015. This is not exactly what the minister said.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Hazard of Phenomenal Success

Previously, we have seen how even some large firms do not have a formal IP Strategy.

We have looked at how entrepreneurs can plan for success by making provision for IP rights they will need even if they do not develop them along the way to success.

But what if you are wildly successful?

 What could go wrong?

 Well, plenty actually.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Progress report on UPC preparations

Last week the Preparatory Committee of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) issued a revised roadmap.

The report outlines the significant activities to date in preparing for the UPC as part of the broader Patent Package.

Friday, July 18, 2014

What entrepreneurs forget

The history of entrepreneurship is replete with tales of failure. Failure followed by dusting yourself off, getting up and trying again.

It may not be catastrophic failure. Sometimes it is trial and error ... testing what works and what doesn't ... changing the mix ... until the recipe for success reveals itself.

What are the implications for IP? Well, I mentioned in the previous post that few firms - large or small - have broad awareness of IP strategy.

Consider what this means for entrepreneurial firms who eventually make the grade.