Tuesday 5 February 2008

The Ocean Tomo/Blueprint alliance: is it built on a sound premise?

The news has broken that Ocean Tomo and Blueprint Ventures have forged an alliance "to find, fund and accelerate the adoption of Corporate IP Spinouts within the technology sector". The alliance was announced at the IBF Corporate Venturing & Strategic Investing Conference held in Palm Springs. The idea is that
"Leveraging Blueprint Ventures' investment focus on Corporate IP Spinouts, this partnership will allow Ocean Tomo to present its clients with an additional monetization strategy for dormant IP beyond the company's highly successful IP auction and private sale capabilities. Blueprint's corporate partners will benefit from deeper access to Ocean Tomo's IP valuation, auction and private sale services in cases where a Corporate IP Spinout is not feasible".
IP Finance notes this development, but -- having digested the news, --wonders if this notion is based on a simple model that sees each item of IP as the basis of a business model of its own. The one-patent (or other right) business is highly vulnerable to challenge to that right's validity, just as a one-product company is vulnerable to sudden market shifts, government regulation and other events that lie outside its control. Arguably unutilised IP is best put to use, and its value best realised, when it is absorbed into a business in which it provides complementary support for market presence or R&D products that already exist -- though it is conceded that this cannot always be the case.

Ocean Tomo Spring auction catalogue here

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