There’s No IP in SXSW

by: Innography

Categories: industry outlooks

It’s Spring Break in Austin, and that can only mean one thing: South by Southwest is here. South By, as we locals refer to it, known most famously as the birth place of Twitter in 2007, has grown tenfold since its initial inception, and now includes Music, Film, and Interactive. The Interactive portion houses SXSW Gaming, and even a Start Up Village.

So with all of the innovation being showcased this week, why isn’t there more discussion around protecting those innovations? There’s only one session at SXSWi covering patents, and instead of discussing technology it focuses on open sourcing fashion. I’m sure this is an important subject for some, but considering the massive amount of new, mostly software-based, technology and platforms being showcased this week, I’d say the organizers at SXSW missed a major area of focus.

Sure, protecting these innovations may not be as intriguing as the innovation itself, but it has certainly proved critical in today’s litigation-heavy landscape. Additionally, with First-to-File kicking off on Saturday, putting a patent strategy in place is more important than ever. No matter how big or small your organization.

Our advice to SXSWi attendees: Be sure your assets are protected prior to showcasing them in a public setting such as SXSW. The role of IP is too large to ignore, and can be a key asset in:

  • Litigation Avoidance
  • Investor Relations
  • Revenue Enhancement (Licensing)
  • M&A Intelligence
  • Product Planning
  • Technology Development
  • Competitive Intelligence

It’s only a matter of days before the parties are over, the music stops and everyone goes home. We hope attendees take advantage of the US patent system and use it to protect themselves and profit from their ideas. Maybe we’ll pitch a panel next year to show innovators how to do just that. What panels would you like to see around IP at next year’s event?

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