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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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Moving toward the Edison Hierarchy

So how does an IP-indifferent company move itself toward the first level of the IP Value Hierarchy? Erik Oliver of Sezmi suggests that there are three steps a company must take. He uses a start-up company to illustrate his perspective.

There are three requirements companies must satisfy if they wish to create an IP function. The first involves finding someone to spearhead the function’s creation and functioning. At the outset that person will most likely be an attorney. But, of greater importance, that person must have an interest in intellectual property and be able and willing to commandeer other resources to build an IP function. The major factor in selecting the person is that they must be interested, focused, and able to marshal resources to make the IP department function—an IP enthusiast. The second is that the IP enthusiast needs to be involved with defining the IP strategy, one of the requirements for moving toward Level One of the pyramid. The third is that the IP enthusiast must communicate regularly with management on IP issues with reports and well-defined metrics.

Employing Metrics

It is important that the IP enthusiast begin reporting to management about the company’s early efforts. Those early reports may just be quantity metrics. Although measures of quantity are only a small part of an IP function’s story, at the early stage of its development, just knowing that the company filed its first patent may in and of itself be a significant ...

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