Where cybersecurity was once more of a topic of concern for governments and enterprises, it is fast becoming a household topic of concern and well should be. No longer anchored to desktops, consumers worldwide now carry their computers in their bags, pockets, hands, or wear them on their wrists or heads. As such, where governments are focused on protecting the nation’s security, enterprises are focused on protecting their consumer’s data so they can in turn enjoy their consumer’s trust, individuals must now be focused on protecting their own social and financial data, among other things, shared over cyberspace.
Solutions to protect these various sectors of cyber use must exceed the pace of unwelcomed intrusions and unlawful theft of proprietary information. Finding such solutions requires deep thinking, substantial resources (financial and intellectual), candid dialogue among the thought leaders, lawmakers, judiciary, practitioners, gatekeepers, investors, hackers, and users, effective innovations, and the ability to protect investments in such innovations.
Today, for example, I am participating in a conversation on New IP Business Models hosted by the Legal Executive Institute, held in Palo Alto, California, and attended by IP industry thought leaders and professionals, judges, and the media.
The topic is largely focused on the notion of innovation and how best to meet the demands of providing secure solutions for the cyber universe on the one hand, and how to enjoy the fruits of the blood, sweat, and tears that go into innovating, on the other hand. This is an example of the type of dialogue needed and mentioned above.
Another example of advancing solutions can be found in Washington, DC, and in our courts. Congress is committed to curbing abusive patent enforcement through patent reform, and the Judiciary has demonstrably resolved some of the most significant patent abuses in recent decisions relating to fee-shifting and patentability. Moreover, we see indications from within the industry from organizations such as the Licensing Executives Society (LES) and the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) focused on initiatives to restore credibility across all patent owners with new programs focused on establishing best practices.
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Next week, I will be speaking at the Data Risk Management in Financial Services Summit to be held at the London Stock Exchange. The discussion will be focused on cyber issues in the financial services industry. What we learned several months back from the White House Summit on cybersecurity held at Stanford is that we are not talking about data “leakage” but data “theft” outright. A startling statistic is that attacks/hacks often penetrate networks and persist for more than 200 days without being detected. This is something, which was heavily discussed at Stanford, and which I anticipate will be part of our discussion in London next week.
Universally we have to work towards agreement that investment in new innovation must continue to be backed by strong IP protections. Investing in even the best innovations without such protections will be nonexistent. Without the relationship to venture and private financing, new technologies might never make it to market. Once there, we leave it to consumers to determine the real value of the innovation. In turn, our growing knowledge economy continues to develop, based largely upon consumer demand for new innovation, and the reward for capital investment – simply, the intellectual property asset – remains intact.
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