Bookshelf: Understanding IP

Bookshelf: Understanding IP

Driving Innovation: Intellectual Property Strategies for a Dynamic World, By Michael A. Gollin, Cambridge University Press, 2008, 414 pages, $29.99

"The invisible infrastructure of innovation" is how Michael A. Gollin describes intellectual property (IP) in the introduction of his new book. The author, a patent attorney as well as a faculty member at Georgetown University, points out that IP rights are both a source of hidden wealth and hidden costs, and the rules "range from confusing to nearly incomprehensible."

Observing that "it should be self-evident that intellectual property is a key to understanding the dynamics of global innovation," Gollin writes that IP hasn't received the comprehensive attention it deserves. That's an oversight he aims to help correct by presenting a broad look at fundamental IP ideas and how they apply to industry, non-profits and developing countries.

The book is broken down into four parts and 19 chapters, with each chapter neatly introduced at its start and summarized at its conclusion. Some brief history and definitions give way to practical steps toward strategic management. In Chapter 10, for example, Gollin introduces a list of strategy options that include such names as the "burning stick" strategy and the "suit of armor and shield" strategy. Several appendices include an intellectual property assessment questionnaire.

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