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An argument for intellectual property not reporting to the general counsel: little commercial savvy

“At most companies, responsibility for intellectual property still resides in the legal counsel’s office rather than with the chief technology officer, chief financial officer, or some other manager responsible for guiding financial and commercial growth.” The tone of voice being so querulous, the author obviously thinks that dumb old patent lawyers don’t think about what makes money. Narrow technicians, scriveners with little conception of profit and loss, they should step aside for grown up business executives to take charge (See my post of Feb. 17, 2007: should the general counsel oversee IP activities.).

The point is made by David Kline, a writer described as specializing in IP strategy, in strategy+business, Issue 50, 2007 at 16. I agree that oversight of intellectual property exploitation must come from business executives (See my posts of Feb. 19, 2006: decentralized IP lawyers report to R&D; Nov. 28, 2005: buying and selling IP online; and May 10, 2006: educate clients about the value of IP.). Even so, I hardly think that veteran IP lawyers practice their craft oblivious to the dollars and cents at stake.

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