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Home > Special Topics > Activity Report Last Updated: 15:10 03/09/2007
Activity Report #74: April 26, 2006

IAP2M Seminar Report: Dr. Ellie Okada on Intellectual Property Management

Takahiro MIYAO (Professor, Head, Japanese Institute of Global Communications, International University of Japan)



Seminar Summary
[International Assciation of Project and Program Management] Special Seminar:
Date/Time:April 22 (Sat) 10:00 - 12:30
Place:P2M Room, R&D Center, Waseda University
Program: 10:00 11:15
Speaker: Ellie Okada Ph.D (Professor, Yokohama National University)
Topic: Intellectual Property Management and P2M

11:15 12:30
Q&A and Free Discussion
Language: Japanese
Organizer: IAP2M (www.iap2m.jp), International Group

Ellie Okada Ph.D, Professor, Yokohama National University
A special P2M seminar on international management, organized and moderated by Prof. Toshihiko Kinoshita, was held at Waseda University on April 22, 2006. The speaker was Yokohama National University Professor, Dr. Ellie Okada, who gave a talk on "Intellectual Property Management and P2M."

In her presentation, Dr. Okada first pointed out the fact that the view on intellectual properties as a management resource is yet to be widely accepted and incorporated into business strategies in Japanese management. Although R&D projects utilizing intellectual properties often fail to yield innovation in a straightforward fashion, that does not mean that management and planning involving intellectual properties are unnecessary --- Intellectual property management can give a "simple direction" in complicated innovation processes. Thus, the crucial points regarding intellectual property management are (1) directing R&D projects and (2) organization learning. According to Dr. Okada, there are some successful examples such as SCIVAX in the field of biotechnology, where this venture company becomes globally competitive by utilizing Dr. Takabe's unused intellectual properties.

Then, she turned to the area of process innovation and agile production, and explained a successful case of semi-conductor process/product innovation and mini-fab development based on Dr. Okumura's idea, where intellectual property management plays a crucial role. Finally, the case of AGC as a multinational glass company was taken up to illustrate challenges in intellectual property management in the global context. In conclusion, Dr. Okada suggested that her analysis might have some implications on P2M in studying how individual projects should relate to the whole "program" involving intellectual property management.

After her presentation, a lively discussion took place among participants, who have various backgrounds, from business to academics including graduate students. Everyone seemed to have agreed that, as Dr. Okada's analysis implied, there would be no simple model or solution in applying intellectual properties to global management of innovative companies, and more analyses and examples should be explored to draw any conclusions in this area of P2M.

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