Tuesday, 24 May 2016

IP: a cute novelty act in the great Professional Services Circus?

This weblog has just been taking a look at Deloitte's Technology Fast 500, which the multinational professional services firm describes in the following terms:
The Technology Fast 500 is the leading technology awards program. Combining technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and rapid growth, Fast 500 companies—large, small, public, and private—hail from cities far and wide across North America and are disrupting the technology industry. If you are looking for fast-growing companies releasing new, emerging technologies, you have come to the right place! Representing industries from software to biotech, Fast 500 companies play in the SaaS, cloud computing, data analytics, and mobile sectors.
We took a look at the web pages listing the winners, as well as offering the usual handsome infographic. To our disappointment -- though not to our surprise -- we failed to find any mention of patents or intellectual property as indicia of current strength or future prospects. It seems that revenue growth is the name of the game; the source of the revenue, how it is invested and whether it can be expected to continue -- matters that are not unrelated to patent portfolio holdings -- are presumably of secondary importance, or less.

Given that technology investment over the past seven decades or so has been propelled by patent protection and the commercial prospects that are covered by patent licences and the establishment of IP-based technical standards, it would have been reasonable to expect that at least some reference might have been made to these matters.  Until Deloitte and its major competitors regularly express a higher level of interest and attention to IP assets, their value and their role in protecting and developing markets, IP is in danger of remaining little more than a cute novelty act in the great professional services circus.

For the record, you can apply for inclusion in the 2016 Technology Fast 500 by clicking here (the closing date is 24 June). 

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