Reflections on Open Innovation and Intellectual Property

Intellectual property rights (IPR) used to be the key topic at open innovation conferences a few years back. Although still an important topic, this is no longer the case as companies mature on open innovation and find ways to solve these issues.

This development led me to downplay the significance of IPR when it comes to open innovation. Maybe I went a bit too far on this. I am reflecting on this after a session in my Danish network group in which we had a great visit by Jørn Vestergaard-Jensen, a Danish lawyer with good insights on IPR issues for open innovation.

Here I share some of the insights gained and reflections made by myself and the other participants.


by Stefan Lindegaard
http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2011/12/10/reflections-on-open-innovation-and-intellectual-property/

Reflections on Open Innovation and Intellectual PropertyIntellectual property rights (IPR) used to be the key topic at open innovation conferences a few years back. Although still an important topic, this is no longer the case as companies mature on open innovation and find ways to solve these issues.

This development led me to downplay the significance of IPR when it comes to open innovation. Maybe I went a bit too far on this. I am reflecting on this after a session in my Danish network group in which we had a great visit by Jørn Vestergaard-Jensen, a Danish lawyer with good insights on IPR issues for open innovation.

Here I share some of the insights gained and reflections made by myself and the other participants.

Business Before Legal

I was glad to hear that Vestergaard-Jensen had a business mindset. One of his key points was that the business case should take lead over legal issues, not the other way around. He also said that in his world – the lawyer community – good/skilled people have this mindset implicating that less skilled people might focus on reducing risks rather than seeing opportunities in open innovation. I suspect we could agree that there are less good/skilled people than the opposite…

Don’t Be Too Naive

We had an interesting discussion on how “naïve” you can afford to be in open innovation partnerships. Many people in the Nordic region (myself included) take pride in our fairly open and trusting approach in which we believe in the best of people and do not always see reasons to be suspicious and thus protect yourself legally. Some cultures – probably led by the US – have a different mindset on this.

I still believe that the open minded approach is the best in the long run as innovation is moving from a more transactional to a relationship-based approach, but the discussion did prompt several of the participants to consider whether their approach to legal protection should be adjusted. Leer más “Reflections on Open Innovation and Intellectual Property”