Some of the world's most prominent intellectual property thought leaders will come together on Sunday 21st June at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago as founder members of the CIPO Manifesto Working Group. At a meeting taking place prior to the second Intellectual Property Business Congress (IPBC), also being held at the Four Seasons, those present will discuss the growing importance of the chief intellectual property officer (CIPO) position and the organisational environment within which the CIPO should operate. Also on the agenda are the responsibilities that should come with the role and the metrics by which CIPO performance should be measured. The results of the discussions will be shared with delegates at the IPBC 2009 and will also form the basis for further research.

Traditionally seen as nothing more than a legal right and so best managed from the legal department, intellectual property is now increasingly being viewed as a business asset and an issue of concern for the boardroom and C-suite officers. As senior executives begin to understand the potential in the intellectual property rights their companies own to generate revenue, increase profits and enhance shareholder value, so they are beginning to develop new strategies to develop, build and exploit these rights to maximum effect. This is where the CIPO comes in.

The CIPO role is about giving one individual overall responsibility for all aspects of IP management inside a company. CIPOs sit in early when M&A is being discussed, when tax plans are being put together, when corporate finance is an issue; they are responsible for developing procurement strategies, monetisation programmes and managing litigation plans. CIPOs have a direct impact on the direction a company decides to take if intellectual property is an issue in any way. As a consequence, they have full access to the company’s board and other senior officers. Some companies have already appointed CIPOs; many others are developing plans to do the same; those that have yet to consider the role in any detail will be forced to do so over the coming years.

The aim of the CIPO Manifesto Working Group is to become recognised as one of the leading authorities on the CIPO role, with its members firmly at the cutting edge of discussions shaping a position that is likely to become pivotal in many industries over the coming years.

Among those taking part in the CIPO Manifesto Working Group meeting are prominent heads of IP at major corporations. They include Marshall Phelps, Microsoft; Damon Matteo, PARC; Sherry Knowles, GlaxoSmithKline; Carl Horton, GE; Ruud Peters, Philips IP & Standards; Peter Cicala, Shire Pharmaceuticals; Bill Elkington, Rockwell Collins; Beatrix de Russé, Thomson; and Scott Frank, AT&T. Others involved include Todd Dickinson, the executive director of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (and a candidate to become the new Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office); and Shinjiri Ono, the former deputy commissioner of the Japan Patent Office. 

The IPBC 2009 is expected to be the single most important gathering in the IP community this year. Organised by the leading IP publication, Intellectual Asset Management magazine, it will bring together top executives, including CIPOs from Fortune 500 companies, heads of IP at other major companies, global IP thought leaders and senior policy makers from around the world. To learn more about the IPBC 2009, visit: www.ipbusinesscongress.com.