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Edison in the Boardroom Revisited: How Leading Companies Realize Value from Their Intellectual Property, Second Edition by Patrick H. Sullivan, Suzanne S. Harrison

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Characterizing IP-Indifferent Companies

For any company, it is imperative to become more aware of the ways in which intellectual property can provide support to your business. Increasing the company’s self-awareness of intellectual property and its potential value can illuminate two things. First, it can help it understand why it has not placed value on IP; and second, it can lead to a self-examination of whether IP management is an activity in which the company should invest.

Companies that are IP-indifferent may be thought of as having a “blind spot” about intellectual property. By definition, a blind spot contains information about which the company is unaware. Companies on the Edison pyramid, however, know that it is to their advantage to minimize the size of the blind spot, and they take active steps to increase their self-awareness of intellectual property and its potential contributions to the firm’s business.

For companies aware that they have a blind spot, but not aware of what it may contain, there are steps they can take to decrease the amount of unknown knowledge or information. Companies aware of their blind spot but who take no action to reduce its size are in jeopardy of being overtaken by an unpleasant surprise.

Examples of what may be included in a company’s blind spot are:

  • Abilities that are underestimated or untried through lack of opportunity, encouragement, confidence, or training.
  • Fears or aversions about which the company is unaware.
  • Unrecognized behaviors, ...

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