IP Asset-land –
Some places lend themselves to innovation. Some also lend themselves to new uses of innovation rights. Silicon Valley is one such area. In and around Palo Alto are perhaps the highest concentration of IP-centric companies, investors and strategists.
Among notable IP people in the Bay Area (in no particular order): Peter Detkin (IV, Palo Alto), Ron Laurie (Inflexion Point, PA), Kevin Rivette (3LP, Tessera, PA), Pat Sullivan (The Gathering, PA), Irv Rappaport (former CIPO Apple, National Semi, SmartPatents, PA), Vincent Pluvinage (IV, PA), ipValue, Kent Richardson (ThinkFire, Mountain View), Joe Chernesky, Ron Epstein, Michael Pierantozzi (iPotential, San Mateo), Joe Beyers (Ambature, Cupertino) to name a few. In nearby SF I am aware of John Amster (RPX), Rob Aronoff (Pluritas), Joe Mullin (The Prior Art), Victoria Slind-Flor (Bloomberg), Zusha Elinson (The Recorder) and Suzanne Harrison (Gathering 2.0).
Robert Barr, formerly head of IP at Cisco, is now executive director of the Center for Law & Technology in Berkeley. The late, great Jim Fergason, an IP Hall of Fame inventor of the LCD, lived in Atherton and worked in PA. IP-centric companies are too numerous to mention.
I know that I am leaving some people out, so please post a comment and let me and readers know who should be included.
The question is why the SF Bay Area? What in the air (or water) makes people look at innovation differently?
I think it may have to do with open-minded, arguably libertarian approach to wealth and life-style that pre-dates the Gold Rush. People are not afraid to try new things – or, at least, to look at intangibles imaginatively.
There is no shame in failure, the locals seem to be saying; there’s great shame in failing to try.