The vital role intangible assets play in our economy

By Haydn Evans

Who owns the world’s patents? This seemingly simple question is more complex to answer than it seems. According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), one in four public records of patent ownership may be inaccurate. The ORoPO initiative—the Open Register of Patent Ownership—is working to improve this situation through greater transparency and openness of patent ownership data.

In CPA Global’s 22 June webinar, speakers from ORoPO, Microsoft, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, and CPA Global discussed the importance of accurate patent information and ORoPO’s work in this area. Among their insights

- "We are moving to a situation where 21st century business includes a proper account of intellectual property" – Tony Clayton, CEO of ORoPO.  Good data on IP is good for business. With accurate information, IP portfolios have more licence potential, higher value and lower search costs.

- “A transparent patent system benefits everyone, regardless of entity size” –David Kappos, partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.  ORoPO’s voluntary register, which is not difficult or expensive to access, increases the overall quality of patent data.  Given that patent information changes constantly, with patents regularly lapsing and being granted, participants are asked to update their data every three months, ensuring that the register is always accurate and useful.

- “We are committed to maintaining a healthy patent system and transparency of ownership” Tom Wong, Assistant General Counsel at Microsoft.  ORoPO has gained patent office support from WIPO, EPO, JPO, USPTO, KIPO and UKIPO, and helps to maintain a healthy patent ecosystem across the globe. Clarity around patent ownership reduces gamesmanship, facilitates due diligence and licensing, and promotes innovation.

To listen to the full webinar, click here. For more information about ORoPO’s mission to improve patent data and transparency click here.To participate in ORoPO, see the initiative’s declarations page here.