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Drafting an IP Strategy at MNC (C): New Puzzles

 John Palfrey and Lisa Brem  
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3 pages
Product Type:
Workshop-Based Case Study
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Multinational Corporation's (MNC) new CEO wants to take a fresh look at the venerable company's intellectual property strategy and how IP can best generate value for the company. Students play the role of Dana Garcia, vice president of corporate strategy at MNC. Garcia is charged with creating a new IP strategy for MNC's cloud computing business line that will go beyond the traditional "sword and shield" approach. How can Garcia balance the need to protect the company's IP assets, while also selectively engaging in open source platforms and collaborative partnerships to bolster growth and enter new markets? How will IP aggregators affect the way the company should exploit and protect its IP assets?

The C case provides a framework for the company's IP policies and introduces new questions for Garcia: How to deal with IP aggregators, how to use open source and copyrighted items in a new web-based product, how to harness consumer innovation, how to engage in a cloud computing joint venture with a major competitor, and how to design an IP lobbying agenda.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the range of alternatives when thinking about IP strategy and how to use those alternatives appropriately for various IP assets.
  • Analyze the advent of IP aggregators and how these companies will impact MNC's IP strategy.
  • Discuss how open source, customer innovation, and joint ventures impact and are impacted by IP strategy. 
  • Explore ways that the company should position itself on IP issues in public debates.

Subjects Covered

Intellectual Property, Corporations, Strategy, IP Aggregators, Consumer Innovation, Joint Ventures, Open Source


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Additional Information

Conversation Starters: Case Studies for Curricular Reform

Information Law and Policy: Advanced Problem Solving Workshop

The Problem Solving Workshop: A Video Introduction

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