Willis Partners with Innography to Launch PatentWize

Willis Group Holdings (NYSE: WSH), the global insurance broker, announced today it is partnering with Innography to launch Willis PatentWize™, an enterprise-wide business intelligence solution that is part of Willis' overall plan to help companies better manage their intellectual property (IP) risks.

Willis said it will offer a comprehensive suite of technology, consulting, and risk transfer solutions that will deliver a complete approach to intellectual property risk management. The broker's strategy is built around Willis PatentWize, designed to help companies of all sizes gain a better understanding of their IP risks.

"Intellectual property and other intangible assets are a critical and growing part of the global economy, and carry with them a unique set of risks," said Don Bailey, Chairman and CEO of Willis North America. "Those risks are on the rise as a result of the increasing globalization of business, investments in offshore operations, and the ubiquitous use of information technology, which makes IP assets more difficult to protect."

In the U.S. alone, intellectual property is worth $5 trillion, and accounts for more than half of all U.S. exports, helping to drive 40 percent of U.S. economic growth, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC). The theft of intellectual property is a growing problem, accounting for $500 billion to $600 billion in lost sales each year, or 5-7 percent of world trade, as reported by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

"In this environment, there is a greater demand for sophisticated IP risk management solutions. Willis is uniquely positioned to meet that need through our consulting and analytical services and innovative insurance solutions," said Bailey. "Our partnership with Innography and the launch of Willis PatentWize is a crucial step for Willis to develop a robust platform to help companies manage and mitigate their intellectual property risks."

Willis PatentWize™ establishes a new standard for effectively dealing with IP risk by providing rapid and relevant insights based on the automated correlation of patent, trademark, legal, financial, and other key information. Powered by the Innography software platform, this IP business intelligence solution instantly displays real-time visualizations that can be leveraged to:

  • Improve the strength and marketability of new technologies and inventions
  • Identify emerging industry trends, opportunities, and threats
  • Disclose and preempt points of exposure to litigation
  • Reveal critical details when evaluating merger and acquisition candidates and partnerships
  • Conduct required portfolio reviews and compliance audits
  • Facilitate intra- and cross-organizational collaboration and reporting

"As a CEO, I understand the critical role that risk and intellectual property plays in corporate strategy. It is a frequent challenge shared by everyone with board responsibilities, regardless of the industry. By partnering with Willis, we are innovating to directly address these customer pain points and introduce a new standard in IP risk analysis," said Robert J. Lynch, CEO of Innography. "Powered by Innography, Willis PatentWize reinforces this customer commitment by delivering a robust, reliable solution so organizations have a leading edge when acquiring, enforcing and managing their strategic intellectual property investments."

Willis PatentWize™ combines dozens of patent, trademark and business data sources from more than 70 countries to generate interactive visualizations that make IP research and analysis more efficient and cost-effective. It initially will be offered to Willis clients in North America starting August 17, 2010, with the potential for future international expansion.

On August 17, 2010, Willis and Innography co-hosted a live webinar on effective IP risk management strategies by showcasing actual use case scenarios and demonstrating Willis PatentWize™. 

About Willis
Willis Group Holdings is a leading global insurance broker. Through its subsidiaries, Willis develops and delivers professional insurance, reinsurance, risk management, financial and human resource consulting and actuarial services to corporations, public entities and institutions around the world. Willis has more than 400 offices in nearly 120 countries, with a global team of approximately 17,000 employees serving clients in virtually every part of the world. Additional information on Willis may be found at www.willis.com.