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A company's name is a major intangible asset--but even a federal trademark may not be enough to protect it. This entrepreneur, owner of a media services business, discovered the difficulty in defending his intellectual property against a competitor with deeper pockets. Although he expected to win his case, the prohibitive cost of going to trial led instead to a settlement.
Obtaining financing to commercialize intellectual property is tricky, because intangible assets may have value independently of the business built upon them. In a dot-com world where knowledge is currency, cost and revenue are no longer adequate measures of value. Inventor David Martin's business is soaring on the wings of software that factors new elements into the equation for putting a price on intellectual property.
To sell more and sell faster, study the bell curve of prospective customers to find out which ones are most likely to be early adopters. If your product improves their performance, they'll influence others to buy.
Taking reasonable steps to protect your trade secrets gives your company a stronger basis for legal action in the event of misuse. Read more to find out what safeguards and remedies are available.
Patents protect inventors and may enrich companies--but the application and registration process may be long and costly. Here are the statutory requirements, plus the basics of an effective patent protection program.
Trademark protection may help a growing company establish, maintain and expand market share. This column, first of a series of three, explains how to meet the criteria for eligible words and symbols when you choose a trademark for your product or company.
Here's how to constitute and file an application to register your trademark. This column, second in a series, also lists the benefits of getting your mark onto either the Principal or the Supplemental Register, or both.
Once your trademark is registered, you'll need an active program to protect its use and ensure compliance. Detailed guidelines, monitoring and taking action against infringers can help.
David M. Kelley is a California-based entrepreneur, educator, engineer, and venture capitalist. He was featured by Fortune magazine as one of the "People to Watch" and was selected for the "I.D. 40" list of America's
leading design innovators. In that listing he was described as "the most sought-after design engineer this side of Thomas Edison." He is the founder and CEO of IDEO Product Development, America's largest independent product design and
development firm. In addition to his work at IDEO Product Development, Kelley is a tenured professor at Stanford University in the school's innovative Product Design program. As a faculty member, Professor Kelley is interested in new
product development methodology from inception to production with an emphasis on user-centered design. He encourages broad understanding of product design methodologies, exposing his students to a variety of viewpoints in classroom
discussions and project work. Professor Kelley's primary involvement is in the product design program, a joint program with the art department which emphasizes the blending of innovation, human values, and aesthetic concerns into a single
curriculum. He also teaches in the Human Computer Interface program, which is a joint program with computer science.
Carol Bartz is executive chairman of the board of Autodesk, Inc. Bartz was chairman, president and CEO of Autodesk for 14 years and stepped-down in April, 2006. During her tenure, the company diversified its product line
and grew revenues from $285 million to $1.523 billion in FY06. Bartz previously held positions at Sun Microsystems, 11 years ago serving as vice president of worldwide field operations and an executive officer of the company. Before
joining Sun, she held product line and sales management positions at Digital Equipment Corporation and 3M Corporation. Appointed to President Bush's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Bartz is one of a select group of industry
leaders expected to play a key role in shaping and setting the government's high tech agenda-ranging from R&D funding to new broadband incentives. She also serves on the Board of Directors of BEA Systems, Cisco Systems, Network
Appliance, and the Foundation for the National Medals of Science and Technology. Bartz holds an honors degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin. She was granted an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the New
Jersey Institute of Technology, an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from William Woods University.
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