The rise in the prevalence of technology and patent filings in the car rental industry is creating the possibility of an industry disruption due to intellectual property. Car rental companies that acknowledge and prepare for the increasing importance of IP will stand to benefit, while companies that ignore the importance of IP will suffer.
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) recently signed into law by president Obama represents the most substantial modification to the U.S. patent system in the past fifty years, and most notably, changes the U.S. system from a "first to invent" to a "first to file" system. These new rules will undoubtedly cause companies to re-think their intellectual property (IP) strategy and re-tool their IP process.
"It is only a matter of time before the integration of IP and product development becomes part of the mainstream business process. Companies have to decide whether they want to be leaders or laggards as this happens." John Cronin, Managing Director & Chairman of ipCG, and Brad Goldense President and CEO of Goldense Group, Inc. are the authors of "Integral IAM and new product processes are the future," published in the November/December 2009 issue of IAM Magazine. Their article stresses the importance of becoming an early adopter to the growing trend of merging intellectual property and business goals.
In 1997, a small Texas company called DataTreasury invented and patented a novel technology to electronically capture and store checks. More than 10 years later, after post-September 11th laws were instituted requiring banks to be less reliant on paper checks being transported by aircraft, DataTreasury found that its patent was being used by a long list of major American banks.