A Harvard Education

The old adage “Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach.”, is increasingly untrue, as well as being as uncharitable as it ever was. Like all professionally performed functions in modern corporate culture, IP has long been the realm of professionally educated, highly skilled individuals: Patent Attorneys, Trademark Attorneys; Licensing Executives, and the like. Now a new, and currently rarer, individual is emerging, the IP Strategist: someone with the capability to guide a Board and CEO to unite all aspects of IP into a single vision-led IP function to deliver value for a company. IAM Magazine has established a “Global Top 250”1 of such IP Strategists, and the opportunities for joining this elite group are being enhanced by the spread of education programs providing the underlying skills and knowledge.

Amongst the ranks of those IP Strategy courses is no lesser an institution than Harvard Business School. Aimed at senior executives wanting to know better how to work their company’s IP assets, the HBS course “Intellectual Property and Business Strategy”, next scheduled for February 20112:

“… will emphasize the benefits of tightly integrating your company’s approach to IP with broader strategic considerations”.

There are similar courses in Europe, with Strasbourg University running a Master in IP Management. In its fifth year, Masters of IP Law and Management (MIPLM)3 aims to

“qualify experienced IP professionals to act as IP managers with the practical skills and knowledge to deal with the new challenges of wealth creation and profit generation”

Two complimentary courses creating the skilled IP professionals to deal with today’s and tomorrow’s IP world, where integrating IP under a unified IP Strategy and delivering results under a tailored IP Management system, is the way ahead. Before we can do we need to learn: time for schooling in the “Oil of 21st Century”.