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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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The Arrival of the Chief Intellectual Property Officer (CIPO)

The discovery of intellectual property as a valuable asset with derivative value brought with it a new perspective on how companies might manage it. In the past, the individual usually responsible for the organization’s IP was often an attorney who reported to the Chief Legal Officer or General Counsel. The attorney’s job was to defend existing patents, not to ensure the development or acquisition of new ones. But for firms where IP has become a strategic driver, the IP function may move to a Chief Intellectual Property Officer (CIPO) who oversees all of the firm’s IP activities and who reports directly to the CEO, as part of the “C-Suite.” These firms have come to realize the power of IP and are increasingly pulling together under one manager all of their IP activities—portfolio administration, IP litigation, IP in mergers and acquisitions, IP licensing, and IP monetization in general. The need for this kind of centralized overview and management of the firm’s IP endeavors is likely to grow as corporate leaders become more aware of intellectual property as a driver of corporate value. Many, if not most, of the individuals filling this position will be people with extensive business experience along with some understanding of the legal aspects of intellectual property.

Patents as an Investment Option

Many executives and financial officers think of intellectual property as an investment. But experienced CIPOs realize ...

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