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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Collaboration for invention

A mantra for our business environment emphasising innovation and collaboration could be: "Collaborate to survive and invent."

Collaboration is as old as the first invention. Bill Bryson's remarkable book, A Short History of Nearly Everything, tells us in his 29th chapter about teardrop-shaped stone hand-axes.

These axes first appeared about a million and a half years ago and are certainly the most common technology for the vast majority of human history. They have come to be known as Acheulean tools.

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Ray Charles learned from his mama

We all know that owning, controlling and trading in intellectual property (IP) can create wealth. Losing ownership and control, or not trading IP, can lose wealth.

Industry case studies bring these truths to life. One for the music industry was in BusinessWeek last week. It reports US census data showing one in four U.S. record stores around in 2002 was gone by 2005, a net loss of 1,900 stores. It points at digital retailer, iTunes, which boasts 6 million songs.

Personal case studies make the truths register. We did it in Music business entrepreneurship: eulogy for James Brown. We do it now for Brown's predecessor, and fellow Georgian, Ray Charles (1930-2004).

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Improve your creativity, invention, innovation

We welcome and make no charge for conversations with new clients about how we might help with their intellectual property. To get you into the groove to call, here are some thoughts on creativity, invention and innovation. We are tracking with Australia's 2020 Summit.

We can all be creative

All human beings have a creative urge. Mine for some months has been to write about the following four minute home video on YouTube. It's the Fountains of the Bellagio Hotel in Los Vegas. The music is Dawn, Ayeshe's Dance, a piece in the Gayane ballet by Aram Khachaturian. Observe the fountain's interplay with the music and then read on.


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Intellectual property is not a thing

Speaking in workshops and seminars I've often posed a puzzle to wake up the audience. I've asked: "What is the most powerful thing in the cave of a cave man when he skins a freshly killed beast using a stone tool?"

Most guess that the most powerful thing must be the stone tool. Few point to the one thing that helps the cave man know where to hunt, what to hunt, how to skin and how to fashion tools to help in all aspects of survival.

That most powerful thing is the cave man's brain.

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Website terms of use reduce risk

Millions of people each day accept or click "OK" to terms of use on websites and internet facilities. Terms of use (aka terms of service) regulate legal relationships, particularly contractual dealings between users and site owners.

Terms of use are useful because most online intellectual property (IP) and general business law issues can be partially or fully treated or neutralised with comprehensive, customised and site-specific provisions. This is apparent from common law (ie court decisions in Australia and elsewhere), and our day to day practice as specialists in IP, internet law, IT and e-business law.

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Consultant or contractor intellectual property

In disputes between clients and their consultants two questions often arise.

They are whether money is outstanding and who owns the intellectual property in completed and delivered work. The short answer for both questions is, it depends... and a lot on what is in writing.

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Employee or independent contractor?

In the eyes of the law, employees and contractors are as different as apples and oranges. Hence numerous legal issues turn on whether a person is another's employee or, alternatively, an independent contractor.

The distinction is critical for ownership and protection of copyright and other intellectual property. It is also vital for legal compliance considerations under workers compensation, superannuation, insurance, taxation and other legislation.

A good contract prepared by a competent business lawyer will help remove legal doubts. However, take care. Consider the bias of the person preparing the contract. "Creative lawyering" involves genetic engineering ("GM") to modify the distinction between employee apples and independent contractor oranges. What you see in some contracts is not necessarily what you get.

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Poster advertising legal claims

Poster advertising is a prominent ad trend in the release of 2007 statistics yesterday by the Commercial Economic Advisory Service of Australia. An inappropriate poster ad was also the cause of bad press for Virgin in 2007.

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