TS Newsletter Archive


Business Networks

Informal sharing information and knowledge trading can lead to discovery of useful ideas that might solve important business problems. The most valuable information here is often where to look to obtain the location of private information, which then would have to be pursued under nondisclosure.

The market for innovations already exists, but historically has been highly inefficient. A critical factor that limits this market is the lack of information about the extend and terms of trade in secondary markets.

It’s too soon to say that secondary markets have arrived in most industries in most advanced economies; it is not too soon to plan for the emergence of the secondary markets in your industry. How to assess whether and when secondary innovation markets are likely to impact your industry? Few questions to explore:

-          Have any important technologies been introduced in your industry where one firm handed off the technology to another firm (via license, join venture, asset sale, or spin-off) at some point in the innovation process? How often did this occur last year?
-          Did any university research projects turn into innovative new product or service offerings in your industry last year?
-          How many patents were reassigned last year in the patent classes that are closest to your core technologies?
-          How many times were you contacted last year with offers to license someone else’s technology? How many times were you contacted about licensing your technology? How long did it take to respond?
-          Did any companies in your industry go bankrupt last year? What happened to their technologies and the IP associated with those technologies?
-          How many sales and transfer of patents were you and/or your outside law firm involved with last year?  How many sales and transfers was the law firm aware of in your industry?
-          Are any new firms entering your industry with IP-based business models?
-          Are any innovation intermediates working for you or any of your major competitors?
-          How many of your internal R&D projects were shelved or canceled last year without resulting in any licensing or spin-off activity?

If secondary markets have arrived or about to do so, is worth to invest in knowing them, but be aware of the “trolls”. Trolls are opportunists on the IP markets.

If you actively engage in those same markets, you can acquire the IP (or a nonexclusive license to the IP) for a tiny fraction of what a troll would charge you later on to access to that same IP.

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