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Marty Shivley, Director IP Operations, Microsoft shares his experience with IIT K MBA students

IME Department and SIDBI at IIT Kanpur organised a seminar on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on 25th September’07. The topic of the seminar was “Managing IP Portfolio in large Organizations & IP practices in US”. The seminar was presented by Marty Shivley, Director, Worldwide Intellectual Property Operations for Microsoft Corporation. Other speakers included Jim Patterson, US Patent Attorney and Mukundan Seshadari, CEO Blue-File IP Services. The whole department including professors turned up to listen to the experiences of eminent speakers.

The seminar started with an introduction to IPR and its indispensible need in the present business world. In fact according to Jim Patterson “Constant Innovation has been the key determinant for the success of an organisation. IPR then becomes an effective tool to safeguard the strategic knowledge that a company uses to reinvent itself”. He delved into various strategies like trade-secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks used to protect intellectual property. He emphasised that “Intellectual property (IP) has become an asset just like property.”

The seminar was an interactive one with discussion on various cases. One of such was the purchase of production capabilities of Rolls-Royce Motors by Volkswagen in 1998 and the subsequent strategic purchase of Rolls-Royce trademark by BMW. The case highlighted how BMW used IP to its strategic advantage. Other cases included the tussle between Qualcomm and Nokia over IP.

Marty Shivley explained how IPR creates revenue for an organisation from which a part again goes in funding R&D for development of IP. He shared his experiences of various IP operations in Microsoft and the way in which the company tackled various IPR issues. He narrated his briefings regarding IP with Bill Gates and the seriousness with which the Microsoft chairman listened to these briefings. “He would often go in the minute details as he has a very good understanding of these issues”, Shivley added.

The seminar ended with a flurry of questions from the budding entrepreneurs and a few inquisitive ones got a chance to meet them personally and gain some deeper insights.

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