Green technology lowers friction and attracts VC

Climate changes, humans respond. People jump on new opportunities. This pattern is as old as humanity. One theory on why 150,000 years ago early man moved out of Africa points to climate change in that continent.

Today the concern is that climate change seems to be speeding up. With rising valuations and evaluations entrepreneurs with green technology or anything green are jumping on the opportunity.

This post is about innovation, entrepreneurship and investment, all topics of interest for regular readers of this Lightbulb blog.

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Intellectual property rights defined

Here on one page are descriptions of intellectual property rights under law in Australia. It's part of our series defining key concepts relevant to IP and innovation (see further reading list).

Questions answerd include - What subject matter attracts the rights? How do you get the rights? How long do rights last?

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It's better to design your IP than IP your design

"Kid, don't steal the hubcaps, steal the whole car." Frank Sinatra speaks this line in the 1964 Rat Pack movie, Robin and the seven hoods. He plays Robbo, a 1920s Chicago gangster.

He recalls a mentor and says, "When I was a kid, he caught me stealin' hubcaps off his car, and he said, 'Kid, don't steal the hubcaps, steal the whole car.' "

This was wise guy advice in Chicago in the 1920s. Today in Australia, for car makers and others with intellectual property (IP) assets, we believe hubcap thieves are the most common and dangerous pests. As IP strategists we'll share tips on how to lock them out.

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7 topics for proposal writing or review

Good ideas need a proposal in support. Here's a checklist of seven key topics to help improve your proposals.

It is not written with any particular industry or type of product or service in mind. The further reading list contains more guidance, some of which relates to specific areas.

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How to visualise your brand

A fun and helpful website tool at can help visualise your business and its offerings. It can be used to visualise messages associated with your brand.

If you don't have clarity about your brand, it makes it harder to sell to others. I often say this to clients seeking trade mark registration or cultural or operational changes in their business.

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Linkedin helps recruiters and employees but what helps employers?

If an employee collects customer "friends" in Linkedin, can the employee do business with those "friends" after joining a new employer? Can that employee who collected the customer "friends" while at the former employer now use them with the new employer?

This question became topical due to an English employment law court case in early 2008.

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How to minimise risks under the Do Not Call Register Act

The A$147,400 fine paid by Dodo Australia Pty Ltd ("Dodo") highlights the legal risks of telemarketing under Australian law. It also shows the teeth of the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 (Cth) ("Act") for calls made to home landlines and personal mobile phones which are on the Do Not Call Register.

The first offence fine paid by Dodo underlines what we said in Telemarketers must comply with the Do Not Call Register Act: "Marketing is one of the most regulated business functions and is affected by well over 20 different laws in Australia."

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13 legal tasks for starting a business

When starting a business it is best to work with a fairly comprehensive list of prioritised things to do.

The list in this article reflects my 30 years of experience as a business lawyer. The list applies to most businesses, recognising however that there are industry by industry variables.

For example, some businesses require regulatory licences, eg for people in a trade or in a food preparation or sale business.

Additionally, some businesses should prioritise finalisation of written intellectual property licences or assignments, eg for acquisition of the rights to a business name, logo or business system.  

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7 intellectual property principles build value

A few years ago I wrote a personal vision of what it takes for a client to benefit from innovation. At the time I was seeking to integrate several models or typologies for the commercialisation of intellectual property. I titled my statement "RAPS Conversion Model". It was like a manifesto. This post ends with a list of the 7 principles discussed in the RAPS statement.

I made up the RAPS acronym from Requirements, Assets, Perspectives and Systems. My focus was on how to convert intellectual property into value, hence the terms "Conversion Model".

While I was not thinking of it at the time, RAPS harked back to the time of Leonardo da Vinci. You could be a painter and arty at the same time as gain respect as a scientist and technologist. All areas continue to be fueled by imagination and creativity. Maybe we are returning to that age. I'll return to this theme later.

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Report lists top six ICT trends

A new report by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) highlights six trends in the Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

The report suffers from a fixation on technology. Its comfort zone is bits, bytes and gizmos. Equal space should have been given to use made of IT and communications by business and consumers and the wide-ranging implications of changing patterns of use.

The 18 page report is titled Top six trends in communications and media technologies, applications and services: possible implications (PDF file).

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Robert Mondavi and the commercialisation of Leeuwin Estate

"Naked ladies dancing on the tongue." This is how I responded on first tasting Art Series Chardonnay at the cellar door of Leeuwin Estate in 2004.

Hearing my uncensored appreciation, the man serving me at the cellar door, Mr D. Moore, told me a story. He told me about the wine's background.

It is arguably Australia's greatest Chardonnay. It's almost A$100 a bottle.

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Speed pays in IP commercialisation

Speed pays. You already know that customers pay more if you can deliver fast with no reduction in quality.

Speed wins. Speed is a critical pre-requisite to be competitive in markets.

Speed in innovation pays and wins. In a commercialisation venture it is helpful to measure speed. Get a measure of the speed of change of intellectual property and the agility of the management team, business processes, methodologies and technology.

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Structured networks and the next internet wave

With brilliant imagination, in its opening ceremony the Sydney Olympics presented Nikki Webster in the Australian experience of going swimming. (*)

More than water skills will be needed beyond the Beijing Olympics for Australian online businesses to survive and thrive against the next internet wave.

From 1995 the web encouraged water sports. Today the internet has moved beyond surfing.

The question here is how should Australian online businesses compete in the years ahead to serve local, international or global markets.

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Social media's deep well

When did social media or online social networking start? Was it a few years ago off the back of MySpace, Facebook and Web 2.0?

No. It was thriving in San Francisco and the Bay Area before Mark Zuckerberg, twenty-something CEO and founder of Facebook, was born.

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Business endurance depends mostly on you

What is the secret of enduring greatness for a company? Jim Collins has an answer.

Collins is a prominent writer on business management and author of business books which are among the all time best sellers. He wrote Good to Great and co-authored Built to Last. An excellent overview of Good to Great is the one here by Jim Belshaw.

In his recent article in Fortune magazine, The secret of enduring greatness, Collins revisits his familiar theme of business survival and endurance. His data includes who's in and out of the Fortune 500 list.

And this is what he concludes is the secret of enduring greatness for a company: "Whether you prevail or fail, endure or die, whether you make it onto the Fortune 500, and whether you stay there, depends more on what you do to yourself than on what the world does to you."

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