Intellectual Property Management and Markets

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Herb Munsterman
Program Director

Knowledge and other intellectual assets are increasingly recognized as a driving force of innovation and economic growth. Intellectual property rights are becoming central to the modern economy. Illinois Institute of Technology’s Master of Intellectual Property Management and Markets program (IPMM) was developed to respond to the need for highly qualified professionals for this important and fast-growing area.

The IPMM program provides a foundational understanding of intellectual property that integrates the perspectives and skills of five key disciplines: business, law, engineering, design, and computer science. Courses track the lifecycle of intellectual property from its inception to full exploitation. Graduates of this program will be equipped to take a strategic or leadership role leveraging and managing IP, whether through marketing, research and development, portfolio management, legal protection, or business transactions.

Course Descriptions

IPMM 500
Context/Introduction and Protecting IP

This introduction will address the relatively unique nature of intangible property and the key ways it differs from "brick and mortar" assets. Some historical background on property structures will be covered. The rapid growth of patent, trademark and copyright protection and their importance to the global economy will be explored. Case studies that will be used throughout the program will be introduced. Integrated into the introduction is a survey course that will compare and contrast the four intellectual property regimes -- patent, trade secret, trademark and copyright -- in the context of their application to business. Topics to be explored include the point at which protection arises, the scope of protection available and the basis for enforcement actions. National and international considerations will be covered. The class will work in teams to identify and define protectable IP.

Lecture: 4 Lab: 0 Credits: 4
IPMM 501
Managing the Creative Process

This course teaches two approaches for innovation: top down and bottom up. The first part of the class will focus on top down innovation, specifically looking at innovation with a corporate, strategic lens. This section will include topics such as patterns of innovation, dominant design, various innovation strategies, as well as organizing for innovation. The second part of the class will focus on bottom up innovation, focused primarily on an approach for developing innovative, user-centered products and services. Students will learn methods for identifying unmet needs and generating new ideas. The intention is to teach students the why (from a corporate point of view, why is innovation critical?) and the how (from a project point of view, how do we create innovations?) of innovation.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
IPMM 502
IAM Methodologies and IP Assessment

This course provides students with the fundamental structures for good intellectual asset management and with examples of the variety of ways in which those structures are implemented in businesses. Core to this study are the variety of techniques for conducting assessments of IP in the marketplace, in the competition, and within the business to determine strengths and vulnerabilities. Students also learn how to determine what IP the organization might need to meet its business strategies, what supporting products and services exist to assist in the management and assessment of IP. The course focuses on the legal, business and technical pros and cons of internal development of IP in the context of the marketplace and the business landscape.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
IPMM 503
Acquiring IP

An in-depth examination of the ways IP may be acquired other than through creation. Topics include: asset purchase; business transactions such as joint ventures and joint development; strategic alliances; licenses; mergers and acquisitions; and patent pooling. Emerging issues such as open sourcing and open innovation will be explored. Antitrust implications of these various business transactions will be covered from a business perspective.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
IPMM 504
IP and Business Strategy

Business Strategy is about creatively deploying organizational resources, including intellectual property, in order to create a sustainable competitive advantage for the company. In turn, sustainable competitive advantage is the key to long-term profitability of the company. In this course, students will learn about the various tools, concepts and theories of strategy development and execution. In particular, the focus is on the deployment of IP in innovative business strategies that ultimately drive competitive advantage and profitability. From a theoretical standpoint, the discussion will largely revolve around corporate and business unit strategy, aided by interesting case studies that show the use of intellectual property by companies generating competitive advantage. This discussion is supplemented by a computer simulation game called the Blue Ocean Strategy Simulation (BOSS) which helps student understand the process of developing innovative business strategies and implementing them in practice. The total combination of lectures, case studies and the simulation will result in a rich and exciting learning experience for students.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
IPMM 505
Global IP Management

This is a broad course covering the critical areas of IP portfolio management in a variety of business settings. The course focuses on the role of innovation and intellectual property within the global operation of companies and addresses strategies for global IP coverage, including decisions on when, where and how to seek IP protection on a cost-effective basis. This course will also teach principles of IT portfolio management that affect the operations, planning, knowledge management, and new product/process development of businesses trading internationally. Various scenarios and cases will be discussed, such as technological discontinuities, mergers, divestitures, regulations, nationalization of corporate assets, and reorganizations.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
IPMM 506
Maximizing IP Value

This is an examination of the methods used to value IP in various settings: IP owned by a business; IP which is the target of acquisition; and IP which has been asserted against a business by a third party IP owner. All of the methods examined will be anchored in a review of applicable regulations and accounting principles. Other topics covered are: securitization and/or monetization of IP with particular focus on IP holding companies and their benefits, liabilities, and challenges; issues of taxation with particular focus on tax efficient means of optimizing IP value; and deployment of and defense against the adversarial assertion of IP by non-practicing entities (also known as "patent trolls").

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3
IPMM 507

This course will provide an experiential learning opportunity which brings together and applies the new knowledge, experiences, and expertise derived from the doctrinal classes. Working in teams, students will create an intellectual property strategy and plan for a business or institution which is currently underutilizing its IP assets or facing IP challenges from third parties or competitors. Each team will prepare a written and oral presentation to a panel of experts representing senior management of the business studied.

Lecture: 2 Lab: 0 Credits: 2
IPMM 508
Patent Analytics and Landscape Reports for Supporting Organizational Decision Making

This course provides details on the stages required for performing patent analytics and for the preparation of a patent landscape report (PLR). Patent analytics and PLRs support informed decision making and are designed to efficiently address the concerns associated with making high-stakes decisions in technologically advanced areas with a maximum degree of confidence.

Lecture: 3 Lab: 0 Credits: 3