John Levis, Don Fancher, Eziah Syed, John Hudson

IP management now goes well beyond protecting one’s inventions. For instance, patent filings can be used as a very important sensing mechanism. A disciplined program of monitoring and reviewing filings that have the potential to be relevant to one’s space enables companies to stay on top of emerging threats and identify trends. … IP-related activities were historically used for protecting your own products and services; … [ Read more ]

David Teece

Unless you have truly fundamental inventions that no one else can copy, you need both [intellectual property rights and dynamic capabilities]. Strong intellectual property protection, in itself, will only help you on the first round of innovation. During that time, you can rent other people’s complementary capabilities. But sooner or later, you’re going to get copied, so you’ve got to move quickly to build the … [ Read more ]

Hal Varian

There’s already been a big revolution in how we view intellectual property. So it’s not so much the question of what’s owned or what’s not owned. It’s a question of how can you leverage the assets you have to realize the most value.

Matt Mason

From the author’s point of view, the threat really isn’t piracy; it’s obscurity.

Matt Mason

The average person in the U.S., even if he or she doesn’t illegally download music or movies, violates copyright laws so many times a day, according to John Tehranian, a law professor at the University of Utah, that if he or she were sued for just one day’s worth of violations, the damages would amount to about $12.45 million. It involves everything from forwarding an … [ Read more ]

Ronald Burt

Because of patent law, which exists to protect intellectual capital, we often think the value of an idea lies in its creation. Yet the value of an idea lies in the audience, not its source, and one idea can be ‘created’ many, many times. Creativity exists in a chain: an idea comes from this group and goes to that group, and that group then carries … [ Read more ]

Judith Martin, aka Miss Manners

An inevitable and unfortunate part of the “I want to be me” movement has been the idea that there is no distinction between your business life and your personal life. People treat colleagues as friends and family-often to disastrous effect. Sexual harassment is a prime example. If you flirt with somebody at a party, that person can’t have you arrested. But if you flirt at … [ Read more ]

Steven M. Sommer

A fundamental question examined in the management arena is not only the factors that may lead people to make clearly illegal decisions, but more so the dilemma faced by individuals when confronted with legal but irresponsible or illegal but responsible behaviors. Under those conditions, what should one do? What will influence what behavior the manager chooses?

Baruch Lev

One thing differentiates intellectual capital or knowledge assets from physical and financial assets, and that’s what economists call “rivalry” and “non-rivalry” assets. Physical assets are rival assets. Different users rival for the use of an asset. This asset cannot be used elsewhere at the same time. …Physical, human and financial assets are rival, or scarce, assets, where the scarcity is reflected by the cost of … [ Read more ]

Baruch Lev

The first negative [for intangible assets] is what economists call “partial excludability.” With physical and financial assets, you can completely exclude others from enjoying these assets. If I own a car and there is an effective police force, I can prevent anybody from using my car. But let’s say that I have an employee who is brilliant and that I have invested in his or … [ Read more ]

Arie de Geus

Businesses in the Western world are still governed by antiquated corporation laws. In the past, employees were regarded as an adjunct to business; they were simply the “hands” to operate the machines. Power was concentrated at the top. The law gave priority to the shareholders, based on the assumption that the human elements were mere extensions of the capital assets.

Most of today’s corporations, however, have … [ Read more ]

Arie de Geus

If you have a great idea, you want to set up your own firm, make a quick buck and a swift exit, then the limited liability structure makes sense. If, however, you want to grow a successful company over the long term, you should steer clear of the classical limited liability formula – it gives too much power to too few people.

Michael S. Poulton

Regulation is merely society’s way of saying that it does not approve of the way business is operating or, that by operating the way it is, business is ignoring what the society has set as objectives and goals for itself.

Ron James

There are some companies that say, Let’s do whatever it takes to meet the requirements of the law. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you have to recognize that the law, by definition, typically is made up of rules that have been made to address previous situations. It’s tough for it to anticipate future violations that might occur. Companies that invest in building an ethical … [ Read more ]

Jane Greenlaw

Law is spelled out by consensus in society: It is a minimum standard of conduct. But ethics is not a result of consensus, not something discerned by taking a poll. Ethics is the ideal; law is the minimum.

Milton Friedman

Nobody really believes that it’s an ethical precept that you obey every law. If you obey a law that requires you to do something that is unethical or amoral, I think everybody in the room would agree it’s a proper human behavior to break that law as long as you’re willing to accept the responsibility for that. That was the justification for conscientious objection during … [ Read more ]

The Economist

In principle, patents open up innovations in two ways. First, they confer only temporary rights; once patents expire or are abandoned, the intellectual property they are designed to protect passes into the public domain. Second, they require the details of the invention to be disclosed so they can be replicated. This permits follow-on innovation, which is essential for industrial progress.

More recently, as the patent system … [ Read more ]

Thomas Jefferson

He who receives an idea from me receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me…Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.

Steven P. Rowe

Traditionally, environmental strategies are managed separately as a cost center and viewed as a compliance issue. Unfortunately, the compliance mentality leaves companies vulnerable in two ways. First, if you’re focused solely on compliance, you will only do the minimum amount required to be in compliance with the law, which leaves you open to competitors who are willing to be more creative in their efforts. Second, … [ Read more ]

Jonathan Zittrain

We hew to laws against stealing because there is already cultural consensus that stealing is wrong, rooted in the fact that the thief deprives the good citizen of the stolen property. To copy an idea does no such thing; wrote Jefferson, “he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.” It does indeed deprive the original author of the ability to monopolize … [ Read more ]