Duncan Bucknell



Mergers and Acquisitions are a key source of strategic value in business. You can make an enormous contribution to M&A.  Its a simple thing to set up a scan for valuable technology and IP using standard databases. Stay in touch with the M&A team, understand what they’re looking for today and help them find it. If the deal is on, you will have a head start on the due diligence process, and… Read More

An act of deception has won many a military battle – from Sun Tzu to the Trojan Horse, from Alexander the Great, Hannibal or Napolean to the Spaniards defeating the overwhelmingly more numerous Incas. Here are some examples that I have seen deployed to mislead a competitor – what would you add? Creating a ‘smokescreen’ of patent filings covering technology of lesser commercial interest to make it difficult to ascertain the actual… Read More

Everyone has plans.  Those who excel at implementing ‘the plan’ are usually operating on old information. If you have up to date information and high quality analysis you can make your çompetitor’s plans irrelevant. Competitor actions, on the other hand, are not so easy to avoid. If you have the right process in place, then you have a fair chance of predicting their likely options and which they will choose.

Whoever has the best information is most likely to succeed and on their own terms. It is difficult to overstate the importance of high quality information to the development and execution of world class IP Strategy. The best IP Strategists are keen practitioners of competitive intelligence and analyse a wide variety of  information. I use checklists of information sources tuned to different kinds of issues – some are free, some paid and… 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

In 1993 I joined Derwent Information and by 1994 had put together a patents and competitive intelligence presentation that I would eventually give as far away from my home base as Fukuoka, Japan.  My approach was to target my host company and tell them something about themselves that I should not know.  On one early presentation in 1994, I almost fell into a credibility trap that I never forgot or repeated moving… Read More

Another IP strategy mistake is to overestimate competitors.  This mistake is not as rich in case examples as underestimating competitors because it tends to drive inaction.  We can see cases where it would have been easy to overestimate the competition, however.  RIM appeared to have a secure position in smartphones with BlackBerry before Apple and Android showed up.  Nike and Adidas dominated sports apparel – and then Under Armour appeared to stake… Read More

We wrote in a previous blog post that the greatest risk in strategy is to over or underestimate the risk.  This is why in the art of military strategy opponents work hard to deceive their adversaries.  Deception can cause adversaries to overestimate risk when they should not and underestimate risk when they should not, leading them to take actions that are against their best interests – for example attacking where you have… Read More

How can we understand the whole of the hundreds, sometime thousands of individual pieces of IP that can go into a single product solution?  Even if we can identify and collect all of it, can we really get a feel for the whole through a stack of patent, trademark, and other IP documents?  The answer is an emphatic no for just about anyone.  We can’t for the same fundamental reason that even… Read More

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