Case study: how to drive strategic value by letting others access your IP

Senior IP strategists will tell you one way to exploit IP is simply to let others have it so that they can develop commercial uses.

Ovonyx, Inc., a joint venture of Energy Conversion Devices and Intel Corp., and others own the rights to what is called “phase-change memory” technology, and in seeking ways to monetize that technology IBM, Samsung and others have been given access to it. 

Now a Zurich-based research team from IBM has announced a breakthrough in computer memory based on this technology.  By the year 2016, IBM researchers see a “paradigm shift for enterprise IT,” as well as a gorilla replacement for flash memory in consumer devices. (Phase-change memory can write and retrieve data 100 times faster than flash.)

IBM has a history of bringing dramatic changes to computer memory, including dynamic random access memory (which opened flood gates to personal computing, gaming, etc.) One can only imagine the products and environment that will be spawned by the new memory technology, not to mention the pressure this development (now known or knowable) puts on current valuations of memory-driven products and technologies.