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Do we need a CIPO?

How does a chief intellectual property officer work and which businesses benefit from one?


I have been chief intellectual property officer at Philips since 1999. Previously the role was just the head of IP. When I took it on I changed the organisation of the IP department and turned it into a business with its own profit and loss responsibility. That created a more fundamental change in how the whole company looked at IP and treated IP. It became about value-creation – leveraging IP in the marketplace to support the business, increase its profitability and raise growth.

Over the past 12 years, this change has meant that the role of IP in directing the strategy of the company has greatly increased. In the past you would have a business strategy, formulated by the business, and an IP strategy, formulated by the IP department, and only at the end of that would the two come together and see how they could form a coherent...

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