Rembrandts in the Attic: Unlocking the Hidden Value of Patents

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9780875848990: Rembrandts in the Attic: Unlocking the Hidden Value of Patents

From "Forbes" and "Fortune" to the "Wall Street Journal" and "Harvard Business Review", the pundits are calling it the next corporate strategy challenge: how to use patents and other intellectual property not just as legal tools but as weapons of business competition. With "Rembrandts in the Attic", authors Kevin Rivette and David Kline provide the first practical and strategic guide that shows CEOs and other managers how to unlock the enormous financial and competitive power hidden in their patent portfolios. Writing engagingly and citing numerous case studies, the authors warn that firms can no longer ignore the growing power of patents in business competition. The competitive battles once fought for control of markets and raw materials are today increasingly being waged over the exclusive rights to new ideas and innovations. Where once executives may have feared that their competitors might out-market or out-produce them, they must now be concerned that rivals - especially in the booming e-commerce sectors of the Internet - may secure exclusive patent rights to the essential technologies or even to the fundamental business concepts that they need to be in business in the first place. "Rembrandts in the Attic" lifts the veil of secrecy surrounding the use of patents in business competition today, showing how some of the world's most successful firms - market leaders such as Intel and Microsoft, Lucent and Gillette, IBM, and Priceline.com - have used patents to capture and defend markets, outflank rivals, boost bottom-line revenues and shareholder return, and enhance the commercial success of their enterprises. "Rembrandts in the Attic" is a superb strategy guide that demonstrates the cross-functional value companies can gain by using patents and the gold mine of competitive intelligence that they contain. The book will enable readers to map out technology trends and convergences, uncover the strategies and capabilities of friends and foes alike, and strengthen the competitive efforts of every functional unit in the enterprise, from R&D and marketing to finance, human resources, and mergers and acquisitions. CEOs will learn how to use the authors' patent-enhanced 'Grow-Fix-Sell triage' to help them better allocate corporate resources and build a higher growth portfolio of businesses. R&D managers can employ the authors' 'IP-3' strategy to help build category-leading products, amplify the branding and marketing efforts devoted to them, and secure the key 'choke points' that sustain their product or service advantage. And business development executives will discover how to use patents as competitive intelligence tools to uncover the most attractive M&A opportunities, strengthen valuation and due diligence efforts, and configure asset sales and transfers to greatest advantage. If patents are the 'smart bombs' of tomorrow's business wars, then "Rembrandts in the Attic" is the definitive guide to deploying them for profit and competitive advantage.

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Review:

If you think patents are just about protecting inventions such as the film projector, you're missing the big picture. Now that ideas can be protected--for example, Priceline.com's business model--patents can be wielded to intimidate competitors, uncover their strategies, capture market segments, and, for many companies, generate millions in licensing revenues. Whether patented ideas will ultimately help or hinder innovation is still under debate (see Owning the Future). In Rembrandts in the Attic, however, authors Kevin Rivette and David Kline get down to business, offering practical advice for competing in today's intellectual property arena.

Their advice ranges from the simple to the sublime. First, they suggest, take stock of the patents you already own. Many companies are sitting on unused patents that could be worth millions. For example, IBM licensed its unused patents in 1990, and saw its royalties jump from $30 million a year to more than $1 billion in 1999, providing over one-ninth of its yearly pretax profits. And if you can't find buyers for your unused patents, then look for companies that are infringing upon them--companies that might owe you a piece of their profits. Rivette and Kline offer "patent mining" techniques to spot such potential infringers that can also reveal where your competitors are headed and help you get there before they do. Overall, Rembrandts in the Attic is a crafty and practical guide for companies that may have untapped riches in storage. --Demian McLean

From the Back Cover:

"In this highly readable book, Rivette and Kline show how to enhance your company's value by using intellectual property as an offensive weapon."
-C. Richard Kramlich, General Partner, New Enterprise Associates

"The world's most successful companies are aggressively promoting, protecting, and marketing their own intellectual property. As underscored in Rembrandts in the Attic, the stakes are enormous-billions of dollars-for those companies that successfully mine and maximize the value of their patented ideas."
-Rick Thoman, President and CEO, Xerox Corporation

"Rembrandts in the Attic is the first clear guide to the strategy challenges posed by the growing role of intellectual property in global economic competition. Companies and countries that understand how to meet those challenges will succeed. Those that don't will lose."
-Peter G. Peterson, Chairman, The Blackstone Group, and Former United States Secretary of Commerce

"Intellectual property may be an old subject, but one of vital importance to our global economy. This intriguing book will stimulate creative thinking in your business and provide ideas for everyone-from inventors to corporate executives."
-Jack D. Kuehler, Retired Vice Chairman and Former President of IBM

"A wake-up call for senior executives everywhere."
-Stephen P. Fox, Director of Intellectual Property, Hewlett-Packard Company

"Rembrandts in the Attic is a seminal book about a vital but often forgotten topic. Read it, and you'll never again think about patents in the same way."
--Gil Amelio, Founder AmTech, LLC and former CEO of Apple Computer and National Semiconductor

"Intellectual capital, such as patents, is the fuel that powers innovation. Rembrandts in the Attic is a must-read for any CEO interested in innovation and intellectual capital."
--Bob Howe, CEO, Scient

"Like it or not, patents have become a major force in business. Rivette and Kline illustrate the importance of senior-level management's involvement in the intellectual property strategy of a successful corporation, and present a road map to a solid patent strategy."
--Rich Belgard, Columnist, "PatentWatch"

"Rembrandts in the Attic is prerequisite reading for investors and managers of high-technology companies. Rivette and Kline present a convincing case for why managing patents will become increasingly important with the growth of knowledge-based economies."
--Bob Barrett, Founding Partner, Battery Venture

"Fully 76 percent of the Fortune 100's total market capitalization is represented by intangible assets, such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Yet corporations still focus their attention on tangibles. Rembrandts in the Attic provides deep and actionable insight into how leading corporations are managing and extracting value from the most tangible of the intangibles-patents."
-Peter J. King, Managing Partner, Arthur Andersen's Intellectual Property Asset Management Practice

AUTHORBIO: Kevin G. Rivette is co-founder and chairman of Aurigin Systems, Inc., which develops intellectual property management solutions. A former patent attorney, he is a frequent speaker on patent strategy issues.
David Kline is a business strategy consultant specializing in patent strategy and e-commerce-related business opportunities. A commentator on public radio's Marketplace program, he is also the author of Road Warriors.

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