Forbes Opinion: You Will Care About Intellectual Property Sooner Or Later, by Patrick Moorhead
This post originally appeared in Forbes on October 5, 2017.
I have been in high-tech for nearly 30 years, and while my father and older brother were knee-deep in intellectual property (IP) as IP attorneys, I always played on the IP outskirts in product, marketing, and strategy roles. Early in my career, I thought IP was for the lawyers and engineers to worry about, not me. How wrong I was. As I enter my 28th year in high tech, I am seeing an even increased importance of IP and also observing some disturbing trends that could chew on the foundations it was built, jeopardizing the notion and amount of invention itself. I will be doing a blog series on IP, and this is the first one, intended to be a stage-setter.
Before you do an eye-roll and think IP is for the lawyers and engineers, consider that IP will likely be critical to your business and you may not even know it. As businesspeople, it’s important we all understand IP as every business will be impacted by technology in the next decade. Whether you’re a manufacturer, retailer, service provider, or in transportation, technology will upend your industry, with IP at its core. If it isn’t already, your business will create IP, license it or both, and with technology driving innovation from IoT (internet of things), AI (artificial intelligence), and 5G, you will be disrupted or be the disrupter. I believe that in the future, there will be those who generate IP, and those who will be out of business.