Just this week, Intellectual Ventures announced a new strategic partnership with Zecotek Photonics Inc., a Canadian company that makes imaging, laser, and 3-D display products for industrial, scientific, and medical applications. I am particularly excited about our collaboration with Zecotek because it highlights an aspect of IV’s business that often gets overlooked in the press and media.
The collaboration is multifaceted, bringing together Zecotek’s scientists and inventors, IV’s in-house experts, and IV’s inventor network. We can investigate and source new photonics-related inventions to support and fortify Zecotek’s core invention portfolio, in addition to inventing more broadly in the areas of imaging, display, and lasers. Doing so will help Zecotek expand its already strong R&D capabilities in a cost-effective way.
Furthermore, we have hope that this collaboration could eventually make some of Zecotek’s cutting-edge inventions available to other IV technology customers and partners around the world. This would provide a new source of innovation to those customers and provide Zecotek new ways of bringing their ideas to market.
The deal with Zecotek is IV’s latest collaboration with an exciting and relatively young technology company. Many of these partnerships are executed through the fund that I manage at IV, called the Invention Development Fund. In general, these collaborations provide our partner several unique features:
- We bring the collective brainpower of our inventor network to bear to provide a new source of invention and innovation to supplement our partners’ existing capabilities
- We help fortify and protect our partners’ invention portfolios against infringement
- We use our global connectivity to find new commercial outlets for partners; for example, by helping license technology to other organizations, finding new applications for technology, or finding new commercial opportunities in other parts of the world.
One of our missions at IV and IDF is to create an efficient and global invention marketplace, one that helps innovation creators connect to innovation consumers with minimal friction. We are proud to be a leading pioneer in this new marketplace, and to help companies like Zecotek expand their horizons.
Prior to today’s announcement with Zecotek, IDF has announced similar collaborations with other innovative companies. We work with the world's largest paints and coatings company Akzo Nobel, where we are helping the company find new additives and chemical formulations. We also work with one of Europe's leading animal feeds and cereal products companies Raisio, with which we launched a joint-venture to develop and market new inventions and technologies that make milk production safer, more efficient and more environmentally responsible.
Finally, intellectual property is about more than the big licensing deals and litigations we read about in the press regularly. At its heart, it’s about invention and creativity. At the end of the day, we all benefit from a system that encourages creative people to invent in the first place, one that provides a means for creativity to find its way into new products and services, and one that does so in a way that respects and rewards those who create. At IV, we look forward to working with many other smart and creative young companies in the months and years ahead.