English 4.0

Was hat Erdöl mit Dig­i­tal­tech­nik zu tun? Beide schaf­fen Wohl­stand. Während die Erdölvorkom­men je­doch be­grenzt sind, führen Daten zu im­mer neuen En­twick­lun­gen und Ideen, die als geistiges Ei­gen­tum geschützt wer­den müssen.

Business Spotlight - - CONTENTS -

Pro­tect­ing ideas

Data is the new oil.” Big data ex­perts love to use that phrase these days, but who said it first? Ac­cord­ing to Google, Clive Humby, a Bri­tish math­e­ma­ti­cian, did. In 2006, he said: “Data is the new oil. It’s valu­able, but if un­re­fined, it can­not re­ally be used.” The Getty fam­ily made their money with oil, but Mark Getty thinks he’s dis­cov­ered a bet­ter sub­sti­tute. The co­founder of Getty Im­ages, one of the world’s largest photo agen­cies, be­lieves IP is the new oil. IP? That’s “in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty” and it in­cludes the in­ven­tions, in­no­va­tions, books, paint­ings, de­signs and im­ages used in com­merce.

“In­tel­lec­tual prop­erty is the oil of the 21st cen­tury,” said Mark Getty in 2000, but while IP is valu­able, just like data is, IP can­not re­ally be used to make money with­out copy­right, trade­marks and patents.

To see how valu­able and well pro­tected patents are, I took a trip to the of­fices of the Euro­pean Patent Of­fice (EPO) in Mu­nich be­side the River Isar. Vis­i­tors en­ter­ing the build­ing are first di­rected to the right-hand side, where they must pro­duce a photo ID and fill out a form. Af­ter an of­fi­cial has en­tered the re­quired in­for­ma­tion into the sys­tem, a badge is printed. Then one joins the line on the left-hand side, where an air­port-like se­cu­rity screen­ing in­volv­ing metal de­tec­tors takes place and, if ev­ery­thing is OK, the badged vis­i­tor can then pro­ceed. If you don’t want to go through all this, but you’d still like to learn more about patents, the EPO’S Es­pacenet data­base is avail­able on­line for both be­gin­ners and ex­perts, and is up­dated daily. It con­tains more than 100 mil­lion patent doc­u­ments from around the world and Es­pacenet makes it rel­a­tively easy to

“In­tel­lec­tual prop­erty is the oil of the 21st cen­tury”

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