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IP department observations from Sweden

A recent interview of Hanns Hallesius, Electrolux’s head of IP, brought to the fore several observations.

Hallesius said “We’ve already moved away from a focus on ownership of tangible property, as a measurement of value, to the use of intangible assets to generate cash flow.” IP groups that measure their worth by output (numbers of patents applied for and granted, for example) may want to think more in terms of measuring their portfolio’s worth by revenue generated.

He uses the term “rights management,” a phrase dramatically broader in scope than patents, trademarks, and copyrights. To me that term is too broad because all contracts embody rights and all contracts deserve management.

The company has 30 in-house IP professionals that support its $15 billion in revenue. Some day we will have benchmark metrics that will allow us to say whether that ratio of two IP professionals per billion of revenue is typical.