The Four Horsemen of the IP Apocalypse – Conclusion

By Joren De Wachter The relationship between Intellectual Property and technology is a complex one. It is not clear how the causality runs – does Intellectual Property arise as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution, operating as a mechanism that slows down innovation and reverses redistribution of wealth (effectively ensuring that capital investment earns a […]

The fourth horseman of the IP Apocalypse: Peer-to-Peer, the Crowd and social media

By Joren De Wachter 1. What is Peer-to-Peer? In its origin, the expression “peer-to-peer” refers to a computer network, where a distributed computer application architecture partitions tasks or workloads between peers. However, the concept has since moved to social and economic spheres, where it covers issues such as distributed networks, based on the equipotency of […]

The third horseman of the IP Apocalypse

By Joren De Wachter 1. What is Open Source? Open Source is a system to license software. There are many different definitions of Open Source. One of the better ones can be found on Wikipedia. In essence, Open Source software is software that is licensed under a very different license from proprietary software. When buying […]

The second horseman of the IP Apocalypse: 3D Printing (and the demise of copyright and design rights)

By Joren De Wachter 1. What is 3D-Printing? A 3D-printer is a machine that builds objects, by adding very tiny layers of material on top of each other. It “prints” in three dimensions, using a process called “additive manufacturing”. The cheapest 3D-printers are now available for less than €500, and they can print objects such […]

The first horseman of the IP Apocalypse: Big Data (and the demise of patents)

By Joren De Wachter 1. What is Big Data? One of the most important, and talked about, technological developments occurring in the last couple of years is referred to as “Big Data”. Big Data is the name given to the phenomenon of very fast-growing creation, collection, communication and use of digital data. According to IBM, […]

IP consultancy, innovation and the 4 horsemen of the IP apocalypse

By Joren De Wachter I’ve been in Intellectual Property (“IP”) consultancy for over seven years now; having started the field back in 2008 when it was still very much a novelty. Especially for the Information Technology industry, where a lot of software companies were ignoring IP, and its relevance on their business models. Things have […]

The rise of the Private Commons

By Joren De Watcher 1. What is a Private Commons? A growing number of my clients are asking me to advise them on a new way of using Intellectual Property (“IP”). The question typically arises from a request to address business value that is under-used, insufficiently captured, or both. Very often, this business value is […]

Big Data and IP business strategy

By Joren De Wachter Big Data is an important technological change happening around us. How should businesses react? What is the right business strategy? And, as part of such business strategy, what is the right Intellectual Property Strategy? It can be the difference between success and failure. 1. What is Big Data? “Big Data” is […]

Is there Intellectual Property in Money?

By Joren De Wachter Usually, the question is asked the other way around: “is there money in Intellectual Property?” But as technology is creating new kinds of currencies and new ways to pay, the question of Intellectual Property Rights in money becomes relevant. 1. New money Amazon has recently started issuing its own currency, called […]

3D printing and Intellectual Property – why are they a misfit?

By Joren De Wachter In my previous post at I explained how 3D printing affects the world of Intellectual Property (IP), and how this creates all kinds of problems for IP rights. In this blog I will expand a little bit on why that is the case, and whether something can be done about it. […]