Recent court rulings and legislative efforts have prompted intellectual property companies not only to set more realistic expectations in licensing IP assets, but also to begin broadening their business models beyond traditional licensing. Among the most promising of these new efforts are ventures that revitalize the once-intimate connection between intellectual property and operating businesses with real products and services.

For example, Marshall Phelps, the former chief of IP and licensing at IBM and Microsoft—he is often called the “father of modern corporate patent strategy”—has teamed up with former IBM top inventor John Cronin to launch invention-on-demand firm ipCreate. The new firm partners with global technology companies like Philips and Sony to create patented inventions—and disruptive new products and services—at the chokepoints of market change.

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