A number of acquisitions have appeared in the food and beverage industry in the past several years, including Kraft and Heinz, JAB Holding and Keurig, and most recently the thwarted acquisition of Unilever by Kraft Heinz. Companies would be wise to not only assess the business landscape of potential consolidation in the industry, but consider the IP landscape and patent owner shifts if more of the largest food & beverage corporations merge.
In our second installment of The Internet of Things (IoT), Data, and the Implications for Intellectual Property, we discussed the relationship of data and IoT devices. In this final installment, let's look ahead to the potential future of IoT.
The number of companies that are actively seeking IP protection in this area has rapidly increased. A chart created with ipCapital Group's patent research software, ipCG Innovation Integrator, demonstrates that from 2007 and 2016, there was a 1300% increase in patents related to the IoT.
In our first installment of The Internet of Things (IoT), Data, and the Implications on Intellectual Property, we discussed the need to understand the full landscape of IoT, not just devices. In this second part, let's talk about "big data". All of these devices and the data they will create, hold, transmit and interact with raises a unique Intellectual Property (IP) question. Who owns the data?
While the Internet of Things (IoT) is not new, we are now seeing the refinement of the devices, communication protocols, and data management that was not possible a few years ago. There is a forthcoming convergence of multiple product and technology spaces in this this new world of a predicted 50 billion "things," and the possibility for growth in markets and IP are enormous. IoT is a wide-ranging technological space. So we are publishing a short series on IoT and intellectual property (IP) to highlight some opportunities and challenges that we see, beyond the standard scope of everyday articles being circulated.
In our October 15th blog post Don't Forget About the "Rembrandt in the Attic"?, we discussed how a failure to think strategically about IP may have been a overlooked factor in the financial collapse of Digital Domain Media Group (DDMG). DDMG as debtor in possession has now sought court approval to sell the 3D patents along with the company’s remaining assets. The assets will be auctioned in separate groups, with the six granted 3D patents and two applications sold as one group. For any parties considering making a bid for the 3D patents, one essential question must be asked: how much are these patents worth?
The case of DDMG is not unique; IP mismanagement is pervasive throughout the media and entertainment industry. For a number of reasons, companies often fail to recognize the value of their intellectual assets, and the business continues to move forward while the IP strategy does not. When companies start to consider IP in the face of a crisis, be it bankruptcy or an infringement lawsuit, it is too late to go back and reap the benefit of their creative thinking and innovation.
Whether used simply for enhancement of brand, developed and sold as a new product, or licensed to film industry companies or studios, Hollywood inventions are being missed. These missed inventions are wasted opportunities for studios and companies involved to increase their revenue based on creative thinking - ironically, the lifeblood of the film industry.
If you are attending, be sure and stop by one of the workshops in which ipCG is partnering to speak at LES with other companies.
Small companies can face large financial hurdles on the way to securing intellectual property (IP) protection, particularly with patents. Accumulated patent lifecycle costs can exceed $125,000 for one US & one PCT filing. This cost may include prior art searching, patent drafting, patent prosecution, and maintenance fees.
In Vijay Govindarajan's blog, "Strategy and Innovation," his April 12th entry responds to a recent BusinessWeek article, "Is Innovation Too Costly in Hard Times?" From the article, IBM Chief Executive Samuel Palmisano, states, "Some may be tempted to hunker down, to scale back their investment in innovation. While that might make sense during a cyclical downturn, it's a mistake when you're going through a major shift in the global economy."