Economic Uncertainty – A Catalyst for IP Innovation

Shocks to the financial system create opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The US Depression – era economist Joseph Schumpeter summarized the phenomenon with his concept of creative destruction – a process through which innovation is catalyzed by crisis. For entrepreneurs and businesses with intellectual capital, history shows that downturns can provide enormous strategic opportunities – just consider the following time line of recession – era inventions:

· 1929-1939 – television, nylon, neoprene, photocopies, and the electric razor.
· 1973-1975 – Japanese auto industry, and personal computers.
· 1990-1991 – the internet economy.
· 2001-2003 – the iPod.
· 2007-present – green energy, telecom computing, convergence, and nanotech.

If there is one universal truth in business, it is that companies that continually invest in innovation are in a better position to ride out economic storms and come out the other end stronger. We are experiencing yet another point in history when investment in innovation and intellectual property is the ultimate competitive advantage. IP is about agility, and the ability to capitalize on the opportunities the recession will create.

Source: Intellectual Asset Management July/August 2009

Rand Brenner is President / CEO of Licensing Consulting Group, an intellectual property management and licensing company specializing in assisting clients in IP Management, Strategic Consulting, Acquisition of Licensing Rights, and Property Representation. Rand has licensed some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters, including “Batman” and the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”, both of which generated billions of dollars in worldwide merchandise sales. He has lead various international licensing programs as both licensee and licensor, and through consulting projects focused on licensing strategy, brand development, sponsorship sales and property representation.

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