Rethinking invention, innovation and incentives

Posted by Stephen M. Nipper at October 25, 2005 05:09 PM

Following up on Matt's post earlier is not often that I come across someone, who (like my fellow rethink'rs) "gets it," but I had the pleasure of meeting one such person a couple months ago.

I was at a CLE on Grokster, where the speaker asked whether any of the attendees in the room had actually used BitTorrent before.  Sheepishly raising my hand, I noticed that there was only one other person in the room who raised his hand....a fact that astonished me.  After the CLE I approached this other BitTorrent user (who I didn't recognize as an IP attorney) and introduced myself.  Bill Meade was his name, former HP employee who had worked extensively on setting up HP's inventor reward programs as well as conducting countless inventor workshops.  The more we talked, the more I realized that he too was an IP rethinker...although from an engineering/inventor side.  We instantly hit it off.

Turns out that after he left HP he set up a consulting business (BasicIP) where he does a wide range of IP development services, including:  creating corporate IP strategies, compiling databases for patent portfolio management, developing rewards programs for inventors (thereby encouraging them to invent more), competitive intelligence, trade secret management, invention disclosure collection, etc., etc., etc.  Consider them IP SeaBees.  He might just be able to help some of YOUR clients generate more invention disclosures and otherwise better capture and protect their IP. 

Matt mentioned:  "Later tonight we’ll describe a project that Bill implemented at HP that met with huge success."  He was referring to an email discussion we had with Bill where he was talking about his involvement with HP's "Invent" program.  Turns out that Bill built HP's automatic invention incentive payment system, a program that resulted in a tripling of inventing within a month, an amazing accomplishment. 

Like I said, Bill comes at rethinking from a completely different angle, bringing his own experiences and opinions to the mix.  So impressed was I with what he was saying that I offered him a soapbox...this blog.  Tomorrow, you'll see his first (of hopefully many) guest posts. 

Until then...

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