Strategic IP Considerations on Industry Innovations in the Digital Era

Cloud-fueled digital transformation is driving innovation, touching every individual and industry, in what some call the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Companies around the world are racing to transform their business and succeed in the new digital age, or else face the risk of disruption.

AmCham Taipei’s IP&L Committee invited Erich Andersen, Corporate Vice President & Chief IP Counsel of Microsoft Corp., to deliver a presentation on “Strategic IP Considerations on Industry Innovations in the Digital Era” at a luncheon at the Mandarin Oriental Taipei on October 23.

Andersen referred to Johnson Controls as an example of a company that uses sensors from a building or environment to generate data such as temperature, humidity, and air quality so as to provide services based on customers’ needs. Using Azure, a cloud computing platform and service solution by Microsoft, Johnson Controls can store valuable data from connected buildings in a centralized computer or cloud server without having to worry about service interruption.

From left to right: AmCham Intellectual Property & Licensing Committee Co-chair Peter J. Dernbach, Partner of Winkler Partners; Speaker Erich Andersen, Corporate Vice President & Chief IP Counsel of Microsoft Corporation; AmCham President Andrea Wu; Chris Neumeyer Special Counsel, Duane Morris & Selvam Taiwan, Foreign Legal Affairs Law Firm; and AmCham Intellectual Property & Licensing Committee Co-chair Vincent Shih, Assistant General Counsel, GM, Corporate, External & Legal Affairs, Microsoft Taiwan Corp.

As companies shift from traditional computing to the cloud, they need to rethink the business risks involved as data is digitalized. These risks include 1) security, 2) intellectual property protection, 3) compliance issues, 4) data privacy, and 5) data sovereignty. Andersen shared with the audience some of the risk mitigation strategies:

  • Review the terms of service provided by cloud technology suppliers to protect your business from third-party IP claims, and ensure that you understand the implication of limitations of liability and use of open source software on the products and services covered.
  • Develop your own patent portfolio to secure your innovations, especially technologies relevant for your competitors, and to deter or defend against patent lawsuits.
  • Obtain licenses to third-party IP to reduce your business risk, increase business flexibility, and provide basic defense against non-practicing entities (NPEs).

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