Clause 8: Joff Wild on Founding IAM for Chief IP Officers and EU Commission’s Anti-SEP Crusade

“It became obvious to me that IP was a lot more than laws and court decisions and regulations,” says Joff Wild of IAM on the latest episode of Clause 8. “IP was becoming a fundamental business asset, one that people could use to generate profits, build partnerships, go out into the markets, and raise cash. But no one was writing about that there was no coverage of that. So that said, to me, there was an opportunity to create something new.”

Wild joins Eli from “across the pond” on this episode of the Clause 8 podcast to talk about founding, editing, and growing IAM. They also discuss many other topics related to IP, including the power of patents and the barrage of recent news about the European Commission’s misguided standard essential patents (SEPs) proposals. With over three decades of experience in the industry, Wild’s perspectives shed light on the evolving IP landscape and its impact on businesses and innovation.

Central to Wild’s vision for IAM was the concept of Chief IP Officers who could effectively manage IP portfolios while also creating value and seizing opportunities for their organizations. He believed that by introducing the idea of Chief IP Officers, more individuals would aspire to assume such roles. “If you create the notion that that person exists, then more of those kinds of people will begin to exist, or people will want to be like that kind of person.”

What Interests Chief IP Officers

“What they want to know about is danger and opportunity. They want information that will enable them to make decisions that will either protect their position or enhance their position.”

Strengths and Weaknesses of Successful Chief IP Officers

“There will be people that can see things other people can’t see. And they will see those internally within their own organizations. But they’ll also see that externally in terms of the relationships that they can build and the opportunities that are out there that can be grabbed. But the problem with that is that you become very dependent on that individual. What I don’t think we’ve yet got to in IP, is a point where there is clean succession from one generation to the next generation; that if you’ve had one really successful Chief IP Officer, the next one will be as successful and the next one will be as successful.”

Concerns about Conflicts with IAM’s Event Business

“If we were a platform that didn’t cover stories because they were difficult for sponsors, or because they were told they couldn’t do it or anything like that, people wouldn’t want to be associated with IAM in the first place . . . You can’t, in the end, charge the subscription prices that IAM charges, you cannot charge the sponsorship fees that IAM charges, if you’re a compromised, second-rate brand.”

On Being “Pro-Patent”

“I’m pro patent because I believe patents work. I believe that patents create incentives for people to invest in R&D. I believe the patents enable collaborations, they do build wealth, they do help to diffuse technology and knowledge, and all the rest of it.”

“I’ve been looking at this marketplace for 30 years, and I’ve seen it happen. You look at connectivity patents and standard essential patents, you look at what they have enabled over the last 10 to 15 years, look at the development of the iPhone, or you know, the mobile phone, look at what we did during lockdown, and how we spoke to each other and look at what we’re doing now. At the bottom of that is the patent system.”

Difficulty of Leveraging IP Value

“Patents and IP are much more contextual. You could give my mum an apartment overlooking Central Park in New York, and that apartment will be worth 30 or $40 million whether my mom owned it, whether Donald Trump owned it, or whether whoever owned it. You give my mum the IBM patent portfolio to look after, and immediately it loses all value, because she has absolutely no idea what to do with it. She has no concept of how it works, she doesn’t understand the technology that’s within it, she doesn’t understand the relationships with IBM that might create value from it. And so there is so much more context in patents than there is in other forms of property, or any other asset class.”

Lessons from Nokia and Ericsson on Importance of Investing in Patents over a Long Period of Time

“The lesson for any company is that you can use patents to create value for the company but you have to be committed to it; you can’t do it on the cheap. It’s not just about going out and getting a patent. Itt’s about getting the right kind of patent riding on the right kind of technology. And if you do that, then you’ve got a chance.”

On the Latest SEP Proposals from the European Commission

“It all seems entirely unnecessary to me because there is very little if any evidence that there is an inefficient marketplace out there. There is very little litigation. The commission is very, very concerned about [small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)]. There is very little to no evidence that SMEs are adversely affected by SEP licensing. And it just seems to me a crazy idea to throw everything away. And risk all of that on the back of no evidence.”

What Drove the European Commission to Tackle SEPs in the First Place

“Extensive lobbying, very, very extensive lobbying by people, frankly, that don’t want to pay as much money as they do now for standard essential patents.”

“There are always going to be more implementers of standard essential patents. And there are creators of standard essential patents and the implementers are always going to have more money to spend on lobbying, and all the rest of it, than the creators of standard essential patents. And in Europe, as in the US, it seems, the amount of lobbying money that you have, is pretty fundamental to getting your arguments across to the people that make these decisions.”

Prospects of the SEP Proposals Becoming Law in the EU

“There’s quite a tight deadline to get it through its legislative path before the next European elections, and a new commission comes into place next year. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the end, this didn’t happen, at least for quite a while. But in the meantime, what we’ve got is uncertainty. And uncertainty is an absolute nightmare for everyone.”

Unified Patent Court and the United States’ Misguided Turn Against Injunctions

“I think the Unified Patent Court potentially be the de facto global patent court in many areas. I mean, I think one of the most extraordinary things that I’ve seen over the last few years is the US decided to give up injunctions in most cases. And as soon as you give up injunctions, you make your jurisdiction far less interesting to a lot of people that wants to enforce their patents.”

Opportunity for Brexit UK

“From an IP perspective, if the commission does go ahead with this regulation, if it passes, there’s other moves that are kind of demonstrating the commission doesn’t believe necessarily in strong patents, which strikes me. There’s a great opportunity for Brexit UK to set itself up in opposition to the commission to the EU, in terms of IP, as a very strong pro IP/patent jurisdiction.”




Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of

Join the Discussion

No comments yet.