Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Asked by the White House to Present "The Value of IP in Attracting Financing" at APEC

Last year, I was invited by the White House Office of the US Trade Representative to present at the Third APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM3),  "Workshop on the Role of Trade Secrets for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Attracting Financing and Integrating into Global Supply Chains" Cebu, Philippines 22 August 2015.

APEC Intellectual Property Experts Group Meeting room, Cebu, Philippines
The meeting went well, and it felt like the the participating countries had a genuine desire to move the ball forward on enabling global business growth. The event almost had an Olympic feel - to the point that when my flight was delayed to a 1 AM arrival from Tokyo, the Philippine hosts still had the welcome staff of about about 50 waiting and a shuttle van with police escorts (front and back) ready and waiting as well.

Police Escort From Airport to Hotel in Cebu, Philippines

As for the meeting itself, there is a lot of complexity in these topics, but there are three fundamental points which - in my experience - are critical to creating favorable business environments, and seemed to make sense to the representatives:

I was able to speak to each of those points for about an hour and got some thoughtful follow-up questions from a number of the delegates. Helping to inform and advise these Asia Pacific economies on their IP policies, in a way that is going to help both foreign and domestic business grow, is a great privilege and one which hopefully will show meaningful results in the near term. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Speaking at the US-China Innovation Dialogue

The final outcomes aren't public yet, but I thought this would be okay to share - I was invited by the White House to speak to the leaders of the United States and China’s innovation policies at the “6th US-China Innovation Dialogue” held at the US State Department on June 22. The meeting was co-chaired by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology head Minister Wan Gang, and The White House Office and Science and Technology Director Dr. John Holdren (both pictured having a quiet moment before the sessions began). I advocated for stronger IP rights as a way to reduce outside investor risk and enable a more diverse, innovation centric, economic base.

I won't characterize the discussions other than to say that it was an impressive group of senior representatives from both the US and China, and in a very real way, the right people were brought together. Beijing sent leaders from China's Ministry of Finance, the State Intellectual Property Office, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, as well as the Ministry of Science and Technology, while the US had representatives from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, U.S. Treasury Department, U.S. Department of State, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Minister Wan and Director Holdren's leadership of the proceedings truly fostered a collaborative and constructive dialogue. Also noteworthy was Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister of the Chinese Embassy to the US, Wu Xi (pictured far right) who gave a beautiful and moving opening statement about how innovation and a culture of innovation can bring nations together.

I'm looking forward to seeing the outcomes of this meeting, and hope it can be a catalyst for more positive collaborations in the future. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Launching Synthos Technologies

Will have much more to come, but wanted to post a quick link to our introduction video...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Helping the Markets Understand BlackBerry

This week I helped Bloomberg News understand some of the BlackBerry dynamics a bit better. Unfortunately, BBRY is down about 2% since this went out, but it was important for investors to understand 1) that the extent to which BlackBerry's patent portfolio is licensed is key to generating a transaction value, 2) the portfolio is both large and young and 3) Apple has been citing this portfolio at a significant rate. A few high points from the story: 
"(V)alue may be lower if BlackBerry has already licensed much of its technology, said Erin-Michael Gill, managing director of MDB Capital. Widely licensed patents have less use for new deals or court challenges.
“If that’s the case, the financial buyers no longer have much interest -- and the strategics don’t need them,” Gill said. “Then it would go from multibillion dollars to a trivial amount, probably just a few hundred (million).” 
Patents last 20 years from the date of their application, making BlackBerry’s 3.4-year average appealing, Gill said. 
“There’s 15-plus years of useful life to this portfolio, which is significant,” he said. “Anybody that cares about Apple is going to care about this portfolio -- including Apple.” 
Since similar portfolios generate more than $1 billion a year, BlackBerry should be able to average at least $100 million in licensing revenue annually, Gill said.
“Even if strategic buyers like Apple, Google or Samsung don’t have the same enthusiasm that they might have had two years ago, the floor value a financial buyer would put on the assets means it’s still going to go for a meaningful amount,” he said.
They ended up turning the analysis into a short "Global Outlook," segment with Bloomberg's Mia Saini on Bloomberg Television's "On The Move Asia." (Source: Bloomberg)