Article May 24, 2016

Execs should know this about Patents

As Intellectual Property Underwriters we naturally pay close attention to the way Intellectual Property Risk, and Patent Risk in particular, are managed when underwriting a potential insured. What is often striking is the sheer variance in the quality of IP strategies between companies, even between those of a similar size and operating in a similar sector.

The key factor that drives this difference is often the level of IP awareness present at board level; in a life science company, for example, where patents are perhaps the most valuable asset in the industry, executives are often well versed in the technicalities of patent law. In other sectors, however, where patents play a less central role but are still a key consideration, many CEOs take a hands-off approach to IP matters, either delegating IP to counsel or, in the worst cases, barely considering the matter at all.

Gene Quinn, lead-blogger at IPWatchdog, recently wrote an article which distils the seemingly complex quandary of how to manage IP to seven things all C-Suite Executives should know about patents:


  • What should be patented?
  • When it is appropriate to keep a trade secret rather than pursue a patent.
  • Why the PCT (Patent Co-operation Treaty, the global framework for patent applications) is helpful from a commercial perspective.
  • Patent application traps that can needlessly waste financial resources.
  • Costs associated with chasing bad patent.
  • Licensing your patent portfolio doesn’t make you a patent troll.
  • Why patent reform matters, referring predominantly to the proposed changes in US law.


On Tuesday, May 24, 2016, Gene hosts a webinar to discuss this topic in more detail, attendance to which is free. He will be joined by James Pooley, an attorney with 37 years of experience as a litigator, a member of the IP Hall of Fame, and the former Deputy Director of the World Intellectual Property Organization, where he was responsible for the international patent system. The webinar is likely to focus predominantly on US matters, but the issues it addresses regarding IP governance are relevant wherever you or your client are domiciled.

Read the article and get the link to the webinar on this page: