Monday 9 February 2009

Book review

From Assets to Profits: Competing for IP Value & Return is the latest offering from the fertile and enthusiastic brain of Bruce Berman. Bruce -- who has both edited and contributed to this volume -- needs little introduction or explanation in his field of expertise. As CEO of Brody Berman he has acted out the three roles of guru, catalyst and midwife, having postulated new ways of transacting intellectual property, enabled others to do so too and acted out real-life transactional dramas himself. According to the publisher's blurb:
"... From Assets to Profits: Competing for IP Value and Return provides a real-world look at patents, copyrights, and trademarks, how intellectual property assets work and the subtle and not-so-subtle ways in which they are used for competitive advantage. Authoritative and insightful, From Assets to Profits reveals the most relevant ways to generate return on innovation, with advice and essential guidance from battle tested IP pros".
In truth, this is an easier book to read than to put into practice. It is entirely readable, with large print, small pages and short sentences. The ideas that the authors of its individual chapters espouse are crispy expressed, resonant with common sense and richly supported with recent historical data.  No punches are pulled. There are no short cuts.  Success depends on good planning, hard work and being able to respond to a situation in which the only constant is change itself.

The problem is putting the book's excellent premises and sage advice into practice in a business world that is beset by self-doubt, crammed full with variables over which the reader has no control and -- worst still -- in which the people the reader may find himself doing battle with might also have read it.  The IP owner, the licensee, the sublicensee, financial backers and litigation lawyers on both sides all have a vested interest in the system working, but they can pull painfully in different directions where self-interest is involved.  

Bibliographic detail: ISBN: 978-0-470-22538-7. xxiv + 296 pages. Hardcover. Price £28.99/€34.70. Web page here.

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