More evidence progressive companies are marrying business and IP strategies


After writing about Microsoft’s strategic use of the open source Linux program (Goldman reports to the tune of over $400M a year in licensing revenues from Android OEMs), IPBlog learned of others similarly using the strategy to promote their own offerings. Professor Josh Lerner of Harvard Business School wrote of IBM’s releasing a half-million lines of its Cloudscape to the Apache Software Foundation in anticipation of getting related consulting business, and HP released its Spectrum Object Model-Linker to the open source community to encourage Linux coders to connect with HP’s RISC computer architecture. 

Harvard’s Intellectual Property and Business Strategy class is a good overview of the type of thinking it takes to integrate IP rights management and business strategy. 

First, the course provides a broad overview of the tools and techniques used to protect IP. Then the class teaches the integration of IP management with an organization's broader strategy. How IP is protected has far-reaching strategic consequences, affecting value, competition, R&D investment, and an organization’s financial performance. According to the prospectus, the class is formatted to demonstrate how a blending of legal and strategic thinking helps to maximize the value of IP.

The course covers:

  • Managing IP rights
  • Understanding how the options to protect IP vary by jurisdiction
  • Evaluating different approaches to IP commercialization
  • Integrating approaches to IP management with broader strategic considerations
  • Negotiating licenses of IP rights


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