By David Shofi ‑ August 18, 2016
Insider Insight: David Shofi and the Future of Intellectual PropertyIntellectual property (IP) is a fast-moving and changing industry that technology companies can find intimidating. IP organisations can be employed to secure patents; educate companies about emerging areas within their industry and reveal competitor patent filings. IP organisations are responsible for driving IP strategy and guiding companies through the changing IP landscape. As the Internet threatens our perception of ownership and IP owners struggle with regular law changes – how do IP organisations adapt?
The future of IP is unknown, but industry trends suggest key areas of focus: big data; changes in IP law; the role of IP as a business asset. David Shofi, named by IAM Strategy 300 as a world - leading IP strategist, is able to offer unique insight into how IP organisations must manage the future of IP and its changing landscape.
As Vice President, IP Strategy Solutions and Chief IP Counsel for CPA Global, David helps organisations identify opportunities for improvement in their IP and portfolio management, driving process efficiencies, developing new strategic and innovative solutions and facilitating greater return on investment.
Big data and its big insight
Big data, defined as high volume, high velocity and high variety information assets, helps businesses to make improved business decisions.
David comments: “C-suite are looking to the news and seeing the incredible decisions, damaging verdicts and opportunities companies are taking in ascertaining technology, acquiring products, and they are seeing the results of their competitors and saying – why not us? What are we doing to accomplish that?”.
When patent information is unlocked through big data techniques and analysis, insights can reveal the direction a technology is heading, or reveal the whole roadmap for a specific company’s product plans. Acting as “technology indicators”- patent data provides detailed coverage of technologies and their lifecycles. Businesses can utilise this rich information to inform decisions at every stage of patent portfolio management. Research and development departments can also draw conclusions from vast patent data, isolating emerging areas for investment and technology focus.
Change the law, change the way you manage IP
Reforms are regularly being made to current IP legislation. China, the United States and the European Union have all made changes to IP legislation concerning patents and trademarks. In 2014, the Intellectual Property Office announced an updated Intellectual Property Act that aimed to simplify and strengthen protection for the UK design industry. The act also made the intentional copying of a registered design a criminal offence and introduced webmarking for the display of patent rights, among a number of other reforms.
Law changes have created a pressured IP environment and it is has become increasingly difficult to achieve IP protecting results in a way that works.
David Shofi describes recent legislation reforms as “a necessary complexity” for complete IP security and protection, but argues that these changes mean IP organisations must have a significant, high-level understanding of all IP law going forward.
The true value of patents
The future of IP may signal increased value for patents - as profitable business assets. Where IP management was once a back office arrangement for research and development teams, it is now at the front and centre of business strategy and vital for decision making, increasingly being used by strategy teams, corporate development or partnerships groups, and C-level executives.
Patents can now act as licensing and acquisition assets that could be sold for comfortable profit. For market participants, patent data can provide direct insight into where competitors are strategically– which industries are they focusing on? What innovations are being investigated? If you know this, you can undercut the competition.
David explains, “IP is becoming not only a weapon to shield companies from their competitors but it is becoming a strategic asset that drives strategic alliances and decision-making behind everything that a company will do”.
The future of IP will be a complicated and turbulent industry to manoeuvre. It is crucial that IP organisations adapt to the increasingly data-driven landscape and its reformed legislation with confidence. Organisations need to tackle the complexities head on to understand the true value of their IP assets, establish efficient IP management and ultimately reap the profitable rewards. Providing IP strategies that accommodate the key areas of big data, IP legislation and IP as a business asset, will be the driving force behind a company’s next big innovation in the fast paced technology arena.
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