Through A Looking Glass Clearly: In The Digital Age, ‘Intellectual Property’ Is Evolving Into ‘Intellectual Partnership’

By Ali Jazairy

IP is evolving from “Intellectual Property,” where one attempts to build a litigation-proof and protective “fence” around one’s intellectual assets, to “Intellectual Partnership,” where one freely exchanges these intellectual assets through win-win transactions. The first 100 years of intellectual property (IP) since the Paris Convention in 1883 have been about all steps up to the IP grant, i.e. up to building that “fence.” The last 30 years of IP have been about all steps after the IP grant, i.e. focusing on the market opportunities gained from exchanging and licensing these intellectual assets. This radical transformation has been the main driver of the changing paradigms of innovation, and the advent of Open Innovation. We are entering a time when many organizations and individuals can be effective at participating in the innovation process. Innovation was used to keep people out, now it is used to invite people in. Today, more and more, innovation relies on the development of collaborative networks in the form of innovation platforms. The aim of these platforms is to identify and connect multiple actors with complementary resources in the search for creative and meaningful solutions that are mutually beneficial. As a result, such collaborative networks would involve a wide range of actors, including academia, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the private sector and of course the individuals forming the network.

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