Research and selection process

The IAM editorial team researched the Asia IP Elite intensively over a two-month period from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective. The latter was assessed with the assistance of data provider Inovia, which helped us to identify those Asian companies that are filing the most applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office, the Japan Patent Office and the European Patent Office, and are thus truly global IP players. The research also used court activity as a metric to determine companies’ commitment to asserting their IP rights – albeit that plaintiff and defendant positions can, of course, suggest different things when it comes to assessing whether companies are engaging in constructive, sustainable use of intellectual property. We also looked at the outside advisers that companies use: those prepared to invest money in hiring top-tier domestic and international players were considered to have consciously prioritised quality of work above pricing issues. To us, this signalled recognition of intellectual property as an asset of primary importance. Globally recognised brand rankings and brand value/equity listings were additionally factored into the research process.

The qualitative side of the research took into account the combined experience of Asia-based IP professionals and the global IP community. By interviewing local chief IP officers, general counsel, private practitioners, investors, patent brokers, aggregators and valuation experts, we were able to drill down into specific examples of IP best practice and obtain recommendations of companies whose strategies merited further exploration. Candidates identified through the quantitative research were discussed further in interviews with research participants, in order to verify the calibre of the work being done by, and capabilities of, their respective IP teams. Meanwhile, by speaking to IP professionals outside of Asia, we were able to gain greater insight into the activities of Asian companies that have established an international reputation for their strategic use of intellectual property.

In identifying the Asia IP Elite, we have focused not on the IP assets that these companies own, but rather on how those assets are used and integrated into overall business strategy. To be a member of the Asia IP Elite, a company must:

• Place IP strategy at the centre of its business.
• Obtain demonstrable, significant and ongoing value from intellectual property as a direct result of the strategies that it employs.
• Ensure that there is a direct line from the IP function to senior management.
• Have a senior management that understands the operational and strategic importance of and potential in intellectual property.
• Constantly reappraise and improve on its IP strategy in order to take advantage of market developments.

The Asia IP Elite were honoured at a gala dinner on November 18 2013 at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Singapore. Please click here for more information on the IPBC Asia.