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Most managers leave intellectual property issues to the legal department, unaware that an organization's intellectual property can help accomplish a range ofmanagement goals, from accessing new markets to improving existing products togenerating new revenue streams. In this book, intellectual property expert andHarvard Law School professor John Palfrey offers a short briefing on intellectualproperty strategy for corporate managers and nonprofit administrators. Palfreyargues for strategies that go beyond the traditional highly restrictive "swordand shield" approach, suggesting that flexibility and creativity are essentialto a profitable long-term intellectual property strategy--especially in an era ofchanging attitudes about media. Intellectual property, writes Palfrey, should beconsidered a key strategic asset class. Almost every organization has anintellectual property portfolio of some value and therefore the need for anintellectual property strategy. A brand, for example, is an important form ofintellectual property, as is any information managed and produced by anorganization. Palfrey identifies the essential areas of intellectualproperty--patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret--and describes strategicapproaches to each in a variety of organizational contexts, based on four basicsteps. The most innovative organizations employ multiple intellectual propertyapproaches, depending on the situation, asking hard, context-specific questions. Bydoing so, they achieve both short- and long-term benefits while positioningthemselves for success in the global information economy.
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