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Patent valuation for technology transfer – Part 1

Interview with Alan Engel, President at Paterra, Inc. and international advisor for technology transfer at the Japan Science & Technology Agency.

ipe:    Alan, the valuation of patents and intellectual property in general is gaining increasing attention recently. You are an advisor on technology transfer, what's your take on this topic?
Alan:    Let me start with a short background. When I did postdoctoral research at Sophia University Tokyo in the 1980s, there was a traditional employment/technology transfer system widely practiced in the background.
Perhaps the most important role of a Japanese professor was to get his students jobs. When students selected the professors under whom they would do their theses, the ability of the professor to get them a job at a top company was an uppermost consideration. Professors maintained ties to major companies and, each June, these companies would assign professors each a quota of students that they wanted to hire the following April. The professor would then assign his graduating students to companies. Students did have the option of declining an assignment, but then they would be on their own and could expect no further help from the professor. By the end of July, all students knew which companies they would enter the following April.

ipe:    It seems that this system was heavily based on incentives for both the students and the companies?