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Home > Books & Journals > Book Review Last Updated: 14:22 03/09/2007
Book Review #62: August 6, 2004

"Valuing Intellectual property in Japan, Britain and the United States" Edited by Dr. Ruth Taplin

Reviewed by J. Sean Curtin (GLOCOM, Fellow and Asia Times)

Title: Valuing Intellectual property in Japan, Britain and the United States
Author: Dr. Ruth Taplin (Editor)
Publisher: Routledge Curzon Press
Date/Time: May 2004
Pages: 160 pages
ISBN: Hb:0-415-34112-4, eB:0-203-48023-6


This is a stimulating, ground-breaking and timely book which comprehensively covers a topic of vital importance to the evolving global economy. Its refreshingly astute analysis provides readers with a clear and balanced overview of the emerging issues surrounding the valuing of intellectual property.

Valuing Intellectual property in Japan, Britain and the United States addresses the urgent need to re-evaluate risk and understand the true value of intellectual property (IP) in the light of the fact that intangible assets comprise up to 70 per cent of the assets of most major companies today. It also points to profound changes occurring in Japan concerning IP that have hitherto been unrecorded, especially in the English language. The days of valuing IP as the sole preserve of accountants and lawyers are in the past, it has become an interdisciplinary exercise involving business practitioners, insurance specialists, financiers, business analysts, venture capitalists and those who hold intellectual property assets such as media publishing, pharmaceuticals, electronics, software and universities. In this book, experts in their field explain how the interdisciplinary nature of valuing IP is evolving with for example the growth in insurance solutions to protect IP. Within this context, it assesses the growth of IP in different sectors in relation to national agendas in the countries that have most influenced these developments – the USA, Britain and Japan. The USA recognised the value of IP with the landmark Bayh-Dole amendment that influenced Britain and Japan.

The technical licensing organisation (TLO) has spread to Britain and Japan where it has been modified and cross-influenced the USA’s TLO system with the latter now bringing forth issues concerning the re-appraisal of valuing IP at the point of commercialisation from universities to industry. Japan is privatising all its universities this year to facilitate cooperation with industry in licensing inventions. Unique IP divisions within the universities are being created to promote this process.

Japan is inventing its way out of economic inertia as it has done in the past and in the process is re-evaluating everything from brand valuation to the role of entrepreneurship to university-industry relationships; providing lessons that can be learned from globally. Japan has been neglected, despite it being the second largest economy in the world, especially in relation to patents and IP. It has not been given prominence in the literature because of language barriers, its inward looking tendencies, the complexity of the patent system which is demystified in this book and cultural practices. This book redresses such omission, especially in English language literature by chronicling and explaining all the current changes happening in Japan with respect to IP in a clear fashion and showing the inter-connections between these processes in the USA and Britain all within an interdisciplinary context.

The valuing of intellectual property is an art not a science and this book is a must read for all those involved or connected to intellectual property and its valuation in any form.

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