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Intellectual Property Strategy (MIT Press Essential Knowledge) [Kindle Edition]

John Palfrey
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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

Editorial Reviews


"Palfrey backs up each point in this clear and well-written work with specific examples… Recommended for specialized collections." -- Library Journal

From the Author

This book is written for the CEOs and other senior leaders of all kinds of organizations as a primer on intellectual property strategy.  I wrote it with the aim that someone could read it on a single plane flight, say from New York to San Francisco, or Zurich to Hong Kong.  It is meant to be accessible and practical and useful -- while grounded in the latest research about the business, economics, law, and culture related to intellectual property.

Product Details

  • File Size: 307 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (October 7, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005NK6AVK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #383,724 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound advice on dealing with intellectual property October 6, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
You should think of intellectual property as a flexible asset class that can help your organization in a broad range of ways, according to Harvard Law School Professor John Palfrey in this book. Whether your organization is a for-profit business or a non-profit institution, you should give special consideration to strategies of openness rather than exclusion, especially in the information context.

The author goes on to provide four recommendations on the strategic approach which your organization should take to intellectual property:

1. Consider intellectual property to be an asset class;
2. Be open to what your customers, competitors and others can offer you in terms of intellectual property;
3. Intellectual property is more valuable for creating freedom of action than as an offensive weapon against others;
4. Be creative and flexible in what you do with your intellectual property.

Traditional approaches to intellectual property have been challenged by developments over the past 20 years with the open source movement and the proliferation of Internet services such as YouTube and file-sharing services which skate around the boundaries of intellectual property legitimacy but which copyright owners have been unable to shut down because of their immense popularity and power. Rigid enforcement of rights has become a political act likely to engender community ill-will; hence the wisdom in the author's advice to use openness rather than exclusion as a guiding policy.

In my view the author has succeeded in explaining intellectual property in language which can be understood by anyone. The author has his own views, but manages to steer clear of controversy. The book is short enough to maintain the reader's interest, and it is pitched at about the right level for an executive who needs to understand what intellectual property is and why it is important.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars IP For Dummies March 1, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is silly. Virtually content free, it rings with the constant refrain that a strategic thinker will deal with Intellectual Property as an asset class. Duh. The book is free of any practical information or actionable content for business managers.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read for business managers May 13, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nice compact exposition of the IP space which will enable business managers to get up to speed with both new and old ways of looking at the intellectual property portfolio of any type of company. Reads in about an hour - not terribly in depth of the nuts and bolts, but a great overview.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The world of intellectual property (IP) can be a scary place, where giant firms face off against their competitors, acquiring mammoth IP portfolios to intimidate others and discourage patent infringement lawsuits. Or it can be a place of shrewd investment and careful nurturing of assets. Harvard Law School professor John Palfrey examines the high-stakes IP world and suggests IP strategies to optimize organizational performance. getAbstract recommends Palfrey's worthwhile guidance to all managers seeking to understand their IP assets and to maximize their profitability.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly interesting May 28, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this for class, but it ended up actually enjoying reading it. The writing flows much better/is less dry than a textbook and it presents the subject matter in an interesting way. I'd have read it even if it wasn't required for class.
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More About the Author

I spend most of my professional time as Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School. I am also a faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. My research and teaching focus primarily on Internet law, intellectual property, and the potential of new technologies to strengthen democracies locally and around the world.

I'm very interested in writing about the way that people use emerging technologies in innovative ways. We are living in an exciting time. It's also a time of great complexity. There's much to explore and to seek to understand. And it seems unlikely, in an exciting way, that anyone will be able to predict the impact that the use of these new technologies will have on institutions and societies at large over the course of the next few decades.


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