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Cory Van Arsdale on licensing, collaboration and the future of patenting

At Intellectual Ventures, part of our business involves providing customers and partners worldwide with patents and invention-related services. As a result, Senior Vice President of Global Licensing Cory Van Arsdale has great perspective on the state of the global intellectual property ecosystem.

Cory Van Arsdale on licensing, collaboration and the future of patenting

Cory recently sat down with IPPro Patents to weigh in on the state of technology and patent licensing; check out a few of his thoughts below. For the full interview, be sure to read Issue 11 of IPPro Patents.

How are tech companies branching into new technologies?

Tech companies, at least the ones that embrace the future and where it’s headed, are continually embracing new technologies to the extent it brings them new markets and/or takes them where their existing market is headed. This is true for what would be traditionally not considered a tech company as well.

As an example, several tech companies are investing heavily into driverless cars. They are doing this not by investing in traditional car IP, but rather by leveraging what is their core expertise in tech and where cars seem to be headed.

Non-tech companies are also investing heavily in technology, particularly when technology has the ability to disintermediate their value stream. An example there is banking. Five years ago, it was somewhat rare to use your mobile phone to do any banking other than perhaps looking up your account balance. Now, I, like several individuals, have not even been in a bank branch in the last few years, as I use my mobile to make check deposits, transfer funds to anyone, anywhere, and generally operate my banking life.

How big and important is the licensing business?

Overall, licensing has been and always will be a critical part of our economy. From Thomas Edison to today, licensing is an efficient industry model to enable innovation and invention from all corners of the economy.

As for licensing in the current and near future environment, it is highly dependent upon both the timeframe and the applicable industry.

With respect to particular industries, it will depend in large part upon the relevant players in that industry. I do believe that licensing will be an integral part of any industry, either directly or indirectly.

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The Intellectual Ventures Story – In 2 Minutes and 12 Seconds

“Inventions are the foundation of all technology. Almost every invention required a passionate advocate. Someone who championed the idea. Because as long as people have been inventing, there’s been someone who has said, ah, it’ll never work!” Nathan Myhrvold, founder and CEO.

At Intellectual Ventures, we challenge assumptions. Our cross-disciplinary approach affords us the opportunity to work with leading inventors and pioneering companies to find creative solutions to some of the world’s hardest problems. We provide the world’s most innovative companies with valuable patents and invention-related services. And above all else, we have a passion for invention that drives us forward.

In our new “about us” video, hear from some of our founders, executives and in-house principal investigators on how we nurture ideas to spark change.

We’re proud to be a global inventions company. Join us on this exciting journey.

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Showcasing the Power of Global Invention at Hannover Messe

Successful invention relies on a thriving global ecosystem for science and technology breakthroughs. At Intellectual Ventures, we’re proud to foster the vast infrastructure supporting the work of invention around the world. That’s why we’re heading to Germany later this month to demonstrate the value of an invention marketplace by showcasing some of the products we’ve created, our work with partner companies and the groundbreaking technology behind a few of our spinouts.

Showcasing the Power of Global Invention at Hannover Messe

Biochemist Amy Steadman monitors toxin levels using high performance liquid chromatography in the Intellectual Ventures Lab.

For the first time in the event’s 69-year history, the US is serving as the partner country for Hannover Messe, a leading global trade fair for industrial technology. We’re attending the conference as a part of the U.S. Commerce Department’s delegation and excited to continue to build global relationships and innovations to grow the marketplace for invention.

Our shortlist for the showcase includes:

  • The Photonic Fence, whose applications include agricultural pest and disease control;
  • The ArktekTM device, which keeps vaccines from spoiling in remote, low-resource, regions with poor infrastructure;
  • Our metamaterials spinouts, including Kymeta’s connected car technology, most recently profiled by CNBC; and
  • Partners like CollinsWoerman, Coffee Flour and Raisio who’ve partnered with us to commercialize a range of inventions.
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Intellectual Ventures Opens New Laboratory

Today we announced the grand opening of Intellectual Ventures Laboratory’s (IV Lab’s) new location – more than 87,000 square feet of research facilities, representing almost 33,000 square feet of additional space compared to the old Lab, dedicated to helping global invention thrive. 

Intellectual Ventures Opens New Laboratory

The mission of IV Lab is to bridge the gap between early stage ideas and proof of concept demonstration. The team focuses on the many stages of invention, validating a concept and refining the technology to demonstrate its potential for commercial or humanitarian use.

“The opening of IV’s new Lab is a critical component of our steadfast support of global invention,” said Nathan Myhrvold, CEO and founder of Intellectual Ventures. “As we continue to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges through the power of invention, the Lab will continue to play a central role in that game-changing work.”

The scientists at IV Lab work on a variety of areas including photonics, nanotechnology, electronics, environmental testing, metallurgical analysis, physics, and chemistry and biology laboratories. The Lab also includes a state-of-the-art instrument shop, the Modernist Cuisine Cooking Lab and the Metamaterials Commercialization Center.

“From technologies like the ArktekTM, which helps deliver lifesaving vaccines to even the most remote health posts to TerraPower, a next-generation nuclear energy technology, our superbly talented team paired with the tremendous capabilities of IV Lab, have the unique opportunity to bring global inventions to life for those who need it most,” said Maurizio Vecchione, senior vice president, Global Good and Research.

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Behind the Breakthrough: Mark Newell

Mark Newell’s work improves lives. As a portfolio deputy director with Global Good, he focuses on boosting agricultural productivity in some of the lowest resource areas on the planet. With a background in sustainable business and energy, as well as product consulting, Mark has a unique ability to study a challenge, detect the gaps, and identify potential solutions that will be useful and usable for those who need them most. 

Behind the Breakthrough: Mark Newell

Here are some of his reflections:

On his role at IV:

“I am currently focused on improving agricultural productivity in the developing world. The overwhelming majority of the world’s underprivileged are farmers, including somewhere between 70 and 90 percent of most African countries. My main job is to support agriculture – and look for opportunities to interrupt cycles of poverty – by increasing access to water and energy through the use of technology. This work inevitably leads to a lot of questions. For example, how do we support farmers who rely on seasonal rains gain access to water year-round? What are the systems that framer operates in and where are the leverage points? What are the technology gaps that contribute to these problems? Is there a role we can play in addressing these gaps? These are the questions I ask and attempt to answer every day.”

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Behind the Breakthrough – Christy Barwick

For this week’s Behind the Breakthrough, we’re profiling Christy Barwick, treasurer at Intellectual Ventures. Christy led the team that recently received the Treasury Today’s Adam Smith Award for Best Financing Solution. Her work is expanding the market for invention, turning ideas into innovations. 

Behind the Breakthrough – Christy Barwick

Check out Treasury Today’s profile of Christy and read on to learn more about her background, lessons for leaders, and, of course, her recent award.

On her journey to IV:

“I wasn’t looking to leave Microsoft, but the opportunity to join IV as its first treasurer was exciting. I’ve always enjoyed having new experiences and staying challenged, in this case, the opportunity to join IV allowed me to create something from the ground up and take my vision and develop the treasury function.”  

There wasn’t one role that prepared Christy for her current career phase but the accumulation of all of them.

“What helped me to be successful is a portfolio of diverse finance experience that gives me a broad perspective. If you’re narrowly focused for too long you don’t have a broad orientation. When you do take on additional projects or stretch assignments, it truly demonstrates to senior management that you want to grow your career. I’ve also had a series of incredible opportunities and mentors throughout my career in treasury that have allowed me to take on additional responsibilities and lead or contribute to projects that have been both professionally and personally rewarding.“

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Welcome Google. Seriously.

Google has announced that it will enter the market looking to purchase patents from individuals and small companies.  Of course, Google has long been in the market for larger portfolios – buying hundreds of patents from IBM, famously bidding $π billion in an attempt to purchase Nortel’s patents and spending $12.5 billion to purchase Motorola Mobility in large part for its patent portfolio.

Welcome Google. Seriously.

But with the alliteratively named Patent Purchase Promotion Google now asks smaller patent holders to step up, suggest a sales price and, with some luck, walk away with cash in hand in exchange for their IP. Google argues this new “experimental marketplace” will improve the patent landscape and put money in the hands of inventors.

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Game-Changing Times in the Transportation Industry

It’s an important time in the transportation industry as the consumer depends on technology to stay connected with their professional and social networks. This dependency is driving consumer electronics, connectivity, and information technologies rapidly to converge in automotive and other transportation industries. Automotive companies are finding the need to maintain access to a wide array of relevant patents, not traditionally available in the automotive space.

Game-Changing Times in the Transportation Industry

That’s why we are so pleased that Ford Motor Company signed a license agreement with Intellectual Ventures (IV). The deal provides Ford and its affiliates with a license to IV's patent portfolio of approximately 40,000 current IP assets in addition to future IV assets that may be acquired during the license term. IV offers an efficient way to access the invention rights companies need to drive innovation within the market.

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International Governments Prioritize IP Development

Intellectual property development and protection is a global enterprise, and more and more countries are viewing IP as a critical asset to their economies. Global buy-in on the importance of IP is moving governments to incentivize inventors to find cutting-edge solutions to today’s most pressing challenges.

International Governments Prioritize IP Development

As countries prioritize intellectual property development, the value of collaboration is becoming increasingly evident, and engagement in the IP landscape is making cross-border cooperation easier. September’s BOAO Forum for Asia in Seattle, where IV founder and CTO Edward Jung spoke about the global benefits from Asia’s invention boom, offered one such opportunity to learn from executives and innovators from Asia and hear about ways they are approaching the world’s most challenging problems. 

Prioritizing invention—and strengthening the IP marketplace—also increases the number of people globally who can devote time to addressing systemic issues facing the developing world. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently released a study identifying the “top-50 critical scientific and technological breakthroughs required for sustainable global development,” which highlighted innovations in desalination technology, smartphones, education resources, energy sources, and fertilizers, among others.

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Milestones Met for Vaccine Logistics

2015 brings two early and notable milestones for the Global Good and Intellectual Ventures Laboratory teams’ work to commercialize a passive vaccine storage device: a stamp of approval from the World Health Organization and branding transition to our manufacturing partner in China, AUCMA.

Milestones Met for Vaccine Logistics

Despite immunizations being one of the greatest success stories in modern medicine, one in five children worldwide are still not fully protected with even the most basic vaccines. As a result, an estimated 1.5 million children die each year—one every 20 seconds—from vaccine-preventable diseases such as diarrhoea and pneumonia. Tens of thousands of other children suffer from severe or permanently disabling illnesses. [Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation] 

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