Rembrandts in the Attic: Unlocking the Hidden Value of Patents Hardcover – Nov 15 1999
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If you think patents are just about protecting inventions such as the film projector, you're missing the big picture. Now that ideas can be protected--for example, Priceline.com's business model--patents can be wielded to intimidate competitors, uncover their strategies, capture market segments, and, for many companies, generate millions in licensing revenues. Whether patented ideas will ultimately help or hinder innovation is still under debate (see Owning the Future). In Rembrandts in the Attic, however, authors Kevin Rivette and David Kline get down to business, offering practical advice for competing in today's intellectual property arena.
Their advice ranges from the simple to the sublime. First, they suggest, take stock of the patents you already own. Many companies are sitting on unused patents that could be worth millions. For example, IBM licensed its unused patents in 1990, and saw its royalties jump from $30 million a year to more than $1 billion in 1999, providing over one-ninth of its yearly pretax profits. And if you can't find buyers for your unused patents, then look for companies that are infringing upon them--companies that might owe you a piece of their profits. Rivette and Kline offer "patent mining" techniques to spot such potential infringers that can also reveal where your competitors are headed and help you get there before they do. Overall, Rembrandts in the Attic is a crafty and practical guide for companies that may have untapped riches in storage. --Demian McLean
"Rembrandts serves as a simple but useful primer for the CEO who knows that it's time to make patenting a significant part of the company's strategy, but isn't quite sure how or where to begin. The book nicely outlines how executives can start implementing an intellectual property strategy, how to grow it and what pitfalls to avoid.... The book regales in recounting numerous ongoing intellectual property battles. As a result, Rembrandts mercifully turns the generally dull topic of patenting into a fairly exciting read." -- Electronic Business, January 2000
"Along with the proliferation of new patents, it seems, comes a proliferation of new patents books. The one with perhaps the best shot at the business best-seller list is Rembrandts in the Attic.... The authors, Kevin G. Rivette and David Kline, emphasize the strategic importance of intellectual property by giving example upon example in which patents (or their lack) have been crucial to the fortunes of such companies as Texas Instruments and Kodak." -- The New York Times, October 25, 1999
Top Customer Reviews
I am interested in Apple's failure to manage its IP. While Xerox was forced to license their photocopy technologies, Apple was doomed because they failed to license their Macintosh user interface to other developers. They have always been a hardware company. They sell underpowered and overpriced plastic cases with miserable circuits. They could have license the look-and-feel to all system builders, and let the Macintosh UI become a _de facto_ standard, but they haven't. While they were making easy money, Microsoft's Windows dominates the market, few people ever know how fun it could be to use a well-designed interface. Nobody follows Macintosh interface today.
And now they have to abandon their original look-and-feel to be more Windows-like (from OS 8). And finally they have to migrate to a mixture of Windows and NeXT when OS X finally ships in the future (hopefully). It is absolutely a bad move not to let others share your IP, but this book did not talk about it.
As IP becomes more valuable, many may improperly follow other people's advise to closely guard their IP. As suggested in this book, IP can worth a lot. A dead company can make huge profit from selling their patents. However, if badly managed, your IP can be your worst burden.
This book really worths the money. But if it's worthy of your time, that's up to you to judge.
The authors discuss patents in the light of the e-commerce revolution. They suggest the use of patents in a strategic manner. They provide illustrations and examples of successful patent strategies. Although much of what they say may be known to those who are in the race to establish business method patent portfolios, even those who think that they know what patents are all about can learn something from this book.
Most recent customer reviews
Spellbinding. I laughed. I wept. How could Xerox PARC miss a $500,000,000 patent opportunity in the graphical user interface? Read morePublished on Sept. 3 2001 by G. Brown
This well written book will convince you that an IP strategy is important. If you have some "entry-level" understanding of the strategic concepts related to IP, this book... Read morePublished on Jan. 16 2001
The authors did a great job researching and elucidating a critical management issue - IP strategy - that has been and can no longer be ignored. Read morePublished on Feb. 7 2000
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