MANAGING THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LIFECYCLE. BRYAN L. BELL AND ALLEN L. BROWN, JR. Knowledge Technologies 2001. Allen L. Brown, Jr., Ph.D.
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Dr. Brown has played a number of roles in research and development in information technology including time spent as a Xerox Research Fellow and as Vice President and CTO of Xerox’s XSoft division.
Both his undergraduate and doctoral degrees were earned at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Brown has been a James Clark Welling Professor at the George Washington University, and has served on the National Research Council NIST Panel on Information Technology.
Bryan Bell is president and founder of Synth-Bank, LLC. He was a pioneer in the convergence of the telecommunication and entertainment industries developing an on-line distribution system for intellectual property in 1979. His early work in multi-vendor hardware interface for music paved the way for the software standard today known as MIDI. Bryan's articles appear in numerous industry periodicals. Over the last 20 years, his clientele has included some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.
1994-2000, Bryan has worked as the Strategic Technologist for the Frank Russell Company where he is responsible for long-term technology planning, vendor relationships, and advanced technology research.
Bryan’s recent projects: Experience Music Project, FlightSafety/Boeing Catalog, Halbert, Hargrove/Russell
Bryan's Affiliations include: DIS, Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration, BS in Engineering, Honorary Universidad Francisco Marroquin Guatemala C.A., member National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, member CWA / NABET, member of Board of Directors for Bridge School, Gold and Platinum Awards for Engineering and Sound Design, Xerox Advisory Council, Advisory Board Member International Glass Museum, member W3C, member OASIS.
We believe that intellectual property (IP) is the single most important business asset. As with every other business asset, it is incumbent upon management to husband these assets in such as way as to maximize their return to the business. Indeed, to do so is the essence of management.
For example, the dramatic difference is a company’s “market value” versus its “book value”.
Consequently, it must be recognized that intellectual property has a lifecycle that must be explicitly managed. While particulars may vary, the lifecycle in question is universal across businesses. Happily, then, any information technology based solution to managing intellectual property will have universal applicability.
Our mission at the Frank Russell Company is to “improve financial security for people”.
We don't build trucks -- we only do IP.
We do so by creating intellectual property about financial marketplaces and financial assets.
At the Frank Russell Company, our primary product - in a very real sense, our only product - is IP. In essence our transactional activities are vehicles for capitalizing on the value-add implicit in our IP.
The reason people purchase our funds is because they believe that they are "smarter" funds by virtue of the more sophisticated asset management solutions enjoyed by those funds.
The Frank Russell Company's value adding processes of gathering, authoring, structuring, opining, and distributing information about financial marketplaces and financial assets can be viewed as an intensively managed additional particularization of the generic IP lifecycle.
FRC's opining and structuring can be viewed as the process of lifting business data to business information, business information to business knowledge, and business knowledge to business consciousness.
Each lifting stage results in improved net business value and each stage corresponds to an actual FRC business.
Information + Metainformation = Business Knowledge
Knowledge + Metaknowledge = Business Consciousness
Structuring, using and deciding are business processes. In well-managed businesses these processes are explicitly represented. Looked at in the context of this hierarchy, we see that the workflow documenting the intellectual property lifecycle counts as metaknowledge.
One of the exciting promises of the rapidly evolving information and communications technologies is that the same extraordinary level of service that we have historically dedicated to a relatively few institutional clients can be potentially provided to millions of individuals.
Historically, the main embodiment of intellectual property at FRC has been printed documents. Although electronically originated, these documents have usually been distributed in paper form. While this particular medium and channel will remain important for the foreseeable future, other media, e.g. video, and other channels, e.g. the Web, will acquire ever more prominent roles.
Our engineering technique is acquisitive and incremental.
Build systems having open interfaces between each module of the production process.
Limit the document representation formats to two: PDF for distribution and archival and SGML/XML for authoring and assembly.
We moved from the old process of print then distribute to the new process of distribute then print. We moved from a regime in which we applied quality control to the finished product to one where we applied quality control to the components.
Once the DMA and WfMC standards mature to the point where they can handle our repository interoperability needs and can provide sufficiently flexible workflow to tie together the various horizontal partitions, we intend to also make use of them.
Unified UI/web browser
While we currently make use of the native interfaces of various authoring and access tools, we are moving towards a unified Web browser-based interface.
FRC has many customers within the US Fortune 1000 and Global 200 leading companies.
The Russell Publishing System, though a very narrowly designed application for FRC, is based upon universal principles that are a real part of any major enterprise, and that a system similar to it can benefit most businesses.
These universal characteristics have, in turn, greatly informed our solution to the problem of managing the evolving intellectual property at the heart of the Frank Russell Company's business.
This solution is robust in the face of ever changing off the shelf information technology, while taking into account the infrastructure and organizational challenges that are unique to the Frank Russell Company.
We achieve this by making use of a horizontal architecture that allows us to replace technology on a component-by-component basis, and of a vertical architecture that is tuned to the particulars of the Frank Russell Company's intellectual property, organizational structure, and environment.