Duncan Bucknell


On a day in 1970, a well-known comic strip called Pogo had environmental protection as its subject for the day.  Upon seeing the environment littered with trash, the character Pogo stated, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”  This statement yields a universal truth quoted by strategy practitioners in many fields that certainly applies to IP strategy as well.  The greatest source of friction that prevents most organizations from achieving… Read More

Perhaps for the first time in history, humankind has the capacity to create far more information than anyone can absorb, to foster far greater interdependency than anyone can manage, and to accelerate change far faster than anyone’s ability to keep pace (Peter Senge – author of “The fifth discipline: the art and practice of learning organizations”). In business reality being satisfied with status quo is like trying to swim against the current… Read More

How would you react if you were forced into a commoditised positioning? Check out these car rental companies and what happens to them at airports around the world for just a taste. So how to react? From a business standpoint, if ‘Thrifty’ really means ‘we are the cheapest’ – then make your signage black and white and put up a brightly coloured sign saying ‘We will beat any price from these guys… Read More

There may be no better competitive advantage in business than to be able to offer a valuable solution for free for which a rival must receive remuneration to stay in business. The idea follows the line of the business axiom to give away the razors (a durable) for free so that people buy the razor blades (a consumable). It’s a dynamic that, for another illustration, means that there really cannot be a… Read More

What is an ideal strategy and would you know one if it bit you?  Why bother with it anyway? The ideal strategy is a strategy that provides 100% of the desired benefit and 0% drawback. It is a theoretical target given the mathematical reality that 1/0 (where whole benefit = 1, and no drawback = 0) does not exist – all strategies have drawbacks. A key question to ask, when planning IP… Read More

They are legal rights, so why not treat intellectual property as purely a legal issue? First, the role of most legal departments is oriented around defense and risk reduction. While defense is important, no doubt, there is a good chance that treating IP as a purely legal issue will set yourself up with an unsecure defensive position – given that the IP portfolio may not align with the business strategy – all… Read More

IP is a source of great value for our organisation – keep in touch with the IP function. Messages around IP successes can really leverage our success in the market.  You have to be very careful about what you say to the world, but when you get it right, you can sing it from the rooftops… Having said that, messages around IP enforcement successes have to be very carefully managed – we… Read More

Well sometimes it is. But what is the most important department though? Sales – because without $ coming in the door it’s all for naught? Business development – you need deal flow to keep the company going? Legal – to avoid risk (come on…) … Whatever it is – IP should be thinking hard and long about ways to support and make that department’s job easier / better / more effective. [Image… Read More

In some situations, filing IP very early in the invention cycle can actually do harm and perhaps kill the potential commercial prospects for an invention. Earlier blogs in this series have highlighted speed of action as a way to achieve competitive advantage. Speed to file IP, speed to publish, speed to invent. But to quote a well-known public vehicle information commercial “speed kills”. Put another way, the early bird can arrive too… Read More

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