The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Sunday, December 08, 2002

data mining
The reason for the layman scoffing at intellectual property claims is probably due to a fairly recent spate of companies digging through their vaults, discovering a few long-forgotten patent claims, and then raising a legal stink by trying to collect retroactive licensing fees. By fair standards, such backhanded land grabs smack of the ultimate in greed.

Nevertheless, a lot of companies do devote financial and human resources into research and development (whether they actually call it that or not), and it only makes sense that they capitalize on any valuable properties such efforts yield. What's most surprising about this is that the majority of corporations leave their rightful intellectual properties dormant, thus depriving themselves of a ton of unrealized profit. In fact, McKinsey estimates that up to 10 percent of a company's operating income could come from the proper exploitation of such properties.

The McKinsey site does require free registration to get at the whole article; it's worth it.