Virtual Monopoly

April 30, 2002

Given the worldwide value of intellectual property, it is surprising that there are so few books dealing with strategy for developing and exploiting intellectual property, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. It is refreshing, therefore, to come across a book as engagingly well-written as it is timely which covers this important and interesting area.

Pike’s central message is that businesses of all sizes, even the smallest, can take advantage of the business opportunities offered by intellectual property, and that with a modicum of awareness about the field, small businesses can be equipped to compete much more effectively with their larger counterparts. Indeed, he goes on to argue that smaller businesses may well have the edge in terms of creativity and versatility.

Pike is a patent attorney, and as such the book deals extensively with patents, and Pike provides much accessible and valuable material giving the interested business-person a solid grounding on patent law and practice, including the international aspects. However, this is not to say that other areas of intellectual property are neglected.

The book is peppered with interesting and useful case-histories and much practical advice.

The author’s introduction of the concept of a ‘virtual monopoly’ is a very useful tool for thinking about the issues arising from the whole gamut of different varieties of intellectual property.

I would highly recommend this book, both to the entrepreneur who wishes to improve his or her understanding of the world of intellectual property, and the ways in which it can be used to generate and deliver wealth, and to the practitioner looking for a more rounded understanding of the application of intellectual property in a broader business context.

Andrew Katz is a Partner at Moorcrofts (