Duncan Bucknell


There’s a lot of lip service given these days to ‘aligning IP with business goals’.  Most times there’s no indication at all about how to do that or any of the practicalities. One practical matter that comes up time and again is around the goals themselves.  Specific goals allow more room  for compromise or pivots in the approach used to obtain what really matters.   Putting it another way, an indirect strategy… Read More

Guest post by Robert Cantrell Can IP decisions always just be business – logical, factual?  Should they be?  One of the first pieces of real world advice I received out of school when I joined the Army is the importance of positioning yourself to make decisions based on logic without undue emotional considerations.  A cascade of bad decisions could develop the moment you stepped of that course, for example, you based a… Read More

There was a great discussion at the symposium yesterday on ‘IP Strategy, what has changed, what is changing?’ Here are my slides – I look forward to your comments too. IP Strategy – what has changed, what is changing? from DuncanBucknell

It still amazes me every time I see how unforgiving the natural world can be to a momentary lapse of attention on the part of those within it.  Of course the reason for this is because the hunters have trained themselves to watch for the lapses.  The latest I saw was a barracuda that leveraged my film work to catch a grouper.  Maybe it was my video light, maybe just my presence,… Read More

A list of strategic mistakes cannot ignore the value of ethics.  It is a mistake not to employ good ethics in the conduct of IP strategy.  The reason for this statement anchors on the fact that poor ethics tends to isolate the instigators from other people and enterprises.  In the interplay between customers, partners, and competitors, isolation tends to lead to decline.  Gaining a reputation for questionable ethics leads towards isolation as… Read More

Most organizations create a system whereby IP tasks are created, assigned, monitored and enforced. IP responsibility is vague and it needs to be deduced into number of tasks of definite nature. Sometimes IP tasks do not adequately cover an underlying IP responsibility whereas in other cases IP responsibilities go unrecognized. So one check point is to confirm if responsibility to task conversion is done appropriately. Unless this conversion is perfect, no responsibility… Read More

It’s all very well for external consultants to talk about what’s needed in IP Strategy.  Most IP Strategy is done in-house, with internal clients and with considerable personal risk. Here are 6 qualities we’ve noticed in those operating at a very high level as in-house IP Strategists.   Thank you to those brilliant internal IP Strategists that we work alongside. They make decisions Uncertainty is everywhere in IP Strategy, particularly for those faced… Read More

Bloomberg published a nice piece just the other day on common phrases that are trademarked.  Here are a few: “It’s gonna be awesome” (The Barbarian Group) “We should talk” (Bank of New York) “That’s a good idea” (Rubbermaid) Readers unaware of how trademarks work would be forgiven for thinking that they can’t use those phrases anymore, or at least in business. Obviously this is wrong – the trademarks cover goods and services… Read More

I have often compared patents to castles when discussing high stakes invalidation exercises.  Some are inherently stronger than others, but given enough resources, none of them are invulnerable.  Castles, like patents, are often viewed as defensive structures.  So it was interesting to hear a narrator on a History Channel episode about great fortifications describe castles as tools of aggression…an inherently offensive and not a defensive weapon.  Why would this be so?  Answer:… Read More

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