Duncan Bucknell


Ok, I get it that lobbying can be an important part of an overall strategy and so hats off to those who have created some fog around a seemingly broken patent system. However, things have gone just a little too far now – and unfortunately all of the hyperbole is focused on the United States. To summarize Kenneth Lustig’s recent Forbes article on the topic: (and thanks to David Kline for sending… Read More

“And the core of the strategist’s work is always the same, discover the crucial factors in a situation and design a way to coordinate and focus actions to deal with them.”  (Richard Rumelt  in the June 2011 McKinsey Quarterly.) I think this is a great summary – it gets to the heart of identifying the key issues and creating effective change. From the intellectual property strategy perspective, I would suggest that the… Read More

In my IP strategy courses, I describe ten angles of competition, the sixth of which I define as a potential customer providing a solution to a need himself.  For example, a house painter competes with more than other house painters when he proposes to paint a house.  He also competes with the capacity and willingness of a home owner to just pick up his own brush and paint that house.  External IP… Read More

In my experience, I have seen companies suffer loss or become embroiled in disputes because they followed improper advice from their external counsel. Some companies rely on advice from external counsel in nearly all aspects of management such as employment, tax and contracts, and of course IP prosecution, litigation, and transactions. However, no one can be sure that the advice of any expert is always right, especially if he or she lacks… Read More

Another universal principle of strategy appears in historical manuscripts as “Lure the Tiger Out of the Mountain.”  The idea is to entice your adversary to fight on your terms, here presuming that if you otherwise take a fight to the mountain, then it would be to the tiger’s (adversary’s) advantage. Fighting on your terms can mean a number of things.  In this post, we will focus on place. There is no question… Read More

I have stated often that the best simulation of IP strategy out on the market today is the 3,000 year old Chinese game of ‘Go.’  There are two key mistakes that open the door for opposing players to win.  One is to seek to claim too much space with given played pieces.  The second is to claim to little.  The winner finds the best balance between the number of pieces played and… Read More

Of course following the ideal solution noted in mistake #31 and applying it to IP enforcement fights, a strategist can certainly achieve the complete opposite of the ideal solution.  This would be a solution that provides all drawbacks and no benefits.  Whereas the ideal solution is theoretical – you cannot have a zero in a denominator for the benefits/drawbacks equation – its opposite, the “perfect disaster,” is quite achievable.  You can have… Read More

The ideal solution provides all the intended benefit of a solution without any drawback.  Given this in an IP illustration, the ideal solution for patent enforcement is to have all the benefits of an enforced patent with no drawbacks, which when you drill down means to have enforcement without needing to enforce.  To carry it over further to classical strategy, as described by the ancient philosopher Sun Tzu, it means to win… Read More

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