ipculture.jpgcul·ture (n.) the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization (Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary Online).

The book “Intellectual Property Culture: Strategies to Foster Successful Patent and Trade Secret Practices in Everyday Business” by Eric Dobrusin and Ronald Krasnow is much better than its bland title or cover would belie. This is a book that weaves together deeper ideas on what principles should guide a company with specific details useful in day-to-day practice.

It is not just about the management of intellectual property assets, it is about creating a culture within an organization that recognizes that intellectual property is essential to the very livelihood of the business and knowing how to proactively protect IP assets.

Over the course of its 392 pages, Intellectual Property Culture delivers an excellent guide for any organization that deals in knowledge and technology.  The guiding principal is that any organization that wishes to survive in the knowledge economy must develop an IP culture:

To thrive in the knowledge economy, organizations must cultivate attitudes and behaviors that recognize IP, respect IP, and trade upon the value of IP.  This needs to be done organically, within each individual organization, and to meet the specific needs and characteristics of each such organization.

The trick, of course, is to develop a “healthy IP culture.”

The book is also stocked with practice tips valuable for businesses of all sizes.  In discussing confidential information and effective corporate trade secret programs, the authors note:

While many organizations spend a great deal of time seeking to Protect against intentional taking of confidential information by third parties, often the greater risk lies in the accidental disclosure of confidential information by its own personnel.

Filled with illuminating examples and anecdotes from the authors’ real-world experiences, the book contains valuable practical advice along with sample agreements, notice letters, employee training materials, patent status reports, IP policies, questionnaires, timelines, and other resources. Even the Appendices add niceties such as sample laboratory notebook usage guidelines and a policy and form for review and approval of information prior to disclosure.

I highly recommend this book for anyone set on creating a culture that both manages and respects IP.

About the Authors

Eric M. Dobrusin is a founder and shareholder in the law firm of Dobrusin & Thennisch, where he has concentrated his practice in patent counseling and strategic patent prosecution.

Ronald A. Krasnow is the Senior Vice President of intellectual property and Chief Patent Counsel at Relypsa, Inc., in Santa Clara, California, where he is responsible for all legal functions, including corporate, contract, and intellectual property.

“Intellectual Property Culture: Strategies to Foster Successful Patent and Trade Secret Practices in Everyday Business”
Oxford University Press, USA, is available on Amazon

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