The Evolution of In-house Legal & IP Departments

Heather Harvey, Lead IP Operations, Syngenta International AG, Switzerland
Nicolas Lalyre, Head Patent Information, Syngenta International AG, Switzerland
Simon Reeves, Head of Trademarks, Syngenta International AG, Switzerland
Michael Kock, Head IP, Syngenta International AG, Switzerland

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. This quote, likely incorrectly attributed to the great evolutionist Charles Darwin (1809-1882), perfectly summarized the theory of “survival of the fittest”. Fitness is not so much strength or intelligence, but adaptability. What is correct in biology, also applies in business. However, evolution often seems to happen in extreme fast motion. Intellectual Property (IP) - patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets – are in today’s knowledge economy a cornerstone of growth and the principal source of shareholder wealth and competitive advantage. The IP of a company determines its future economic success and stock market valuation. Intangible assets in general and IP in particular have become strategic factors for value creation and are a crucial part of innovation in relation to business processes and products.

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