Monday 17 November 2008

IP and the credit crunch: hot topics for the financial freeze

Here's a little list of hot topics that was put together by someone doing a little research into one of my favourite topics -- the impact of the current credit freeze on various aspects of IP. The list

1. Technology: Open Source reduce upfront costs; outsourcing creates savings -- so both those sectors should fair well in recession.

2. Intellectual property transactions: there will be a continued focus on IP liquidity, i.e. buying, selling, licensing and litigation of IP (in particular patent assets).

3. R&D: tax credits will make R&D attractive -- but will R&D budgets be cut? In many sectors, e.g. pharma, this may be the last thing to go, but might others look to reduce overheads by "pruning" their patent portfolio?

4. Venture capital: Many IP generative businesses depend on external finance and funding to bridge the time between creation and exploitation. The economic climate will restrict that funding and make it difficult for many of these young businesses to survive -- which will have a major impact on the innovation pipeline into the future.

5. Managing risk: everyone is looking to maximise the potential of what they have. For all IPRs (especially patents and brands) this commonly depends on a range of third party contracts, i.e. licences, franchise agreements, collaborations, sponsorships. All these agreements are scrutinised for issues such as royalties, change of control and insolvency. Those companies with robust agreements will be better placed to weather the storm.
If you'd like to comment on these, or add your own, please feel free to do so.

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