Intellectual Property (IP) is often a company's single most valuable asset. And yet IP is hard to value, widely misunderstood and frequently under-exploited.
IP accounts for an estimated 5trn of GDP in the US alone. It covers patents, trademarks, domain names, copyrights, designs and trade secrets. Unsurprisingly, companies zealously guard their own ideas and challenge the IP of others. Damages arising from infringements have fostered a sizeable claims industry. But IP law is complex, and the business, financial and legal issues around it are difficult to navigate. Court decisions and interpretation of IP laws can be unpredictable, and can dramatically change the fortunes of businesses that rely on their IP - as demonstrated in the pharmaceutical industry's battle with generic drugs.
This comprehensive guide to intellectual property will help companies, investors, and creative thinkers understand the scope and nature of IP issues, pose the right questions to their advisers and maximize the value from this crucial intangible asset.
About the Author
Stephen Johnson studied genetics at Cambridge University before qualifying as a solicitor in 1982. He subsequently also qualified as an attorney and worked in the US for Kirkland & Ellis LLP for over thirty years, most recently in San Francisco. He now focuses on intellectual property (IP) from a business perspective and also consults for the US charity One Mind on IP and other policy issues affecting neuroscience research.