May 2015 Download this article as a PDF

Welcome to the May 2015 issue of the Technology Innovation Management Review. In this issue, our authors present insights about patent trolls, service innovations, business ecosystems, open source policies, and cybersecurity in the Internet of Things.

In the first article, Derek Smith, Vice President of Intellectual Property at Geotab Inc., argues that a good offense is the best defense against patent trolls. By analyzing the literature on the business models of coercive patent-holding firms, he develops a framework to reveal insights – and strategic countermeasures – to disrupt the profit formula, key resources, and key processes of such firms. His article includes five practical recommendations to help entrepreneurs and executives prepare for involuntary engagements with coercive patent-holding firms.

Next, Marikka Heikkilä, Jouni Saarni, Valtteri Kaartemo, and Aki Koponen from the University of Turku in Finland present the "viability radar": a tool to assess the innovation potential of transformative service ideas. The viability radar was developed through an assessment of the innovation potential of three pilot cases of new transformative healthcare services. The tool draws on the service research and innovation literature but is operationalized using questions about an innovation's technology, business model, value network, and related regulations and standards.

Michael Weber and Michael Hine from Carleton University's Sprott School of Business in Ottawa, Canada, examine the terms used to describe business ecosystems and their inhabitants with the aim of developing common language and concepts that will remove ambiguity and encourage a clear understanding of the relationships and components of business ecosystems. Through an analysis of the biological and business ecosystem literature, they propose a business ecosystem model anchored around interdependent "technospecies", which are unique entities based on their organizational routines, capabilities, and use of technology.

Then, Hassib Khanafer, Chief Technology Officer at Protecode, answers the question, "Does a software development firm need an open source policy?", by highlighting the value of integrating open source management tools into development environments. He describes the key elements of an open source policy and argues that, when used in conjunction with open source management and monitoring tools, such a policy can help software development firms overcome uncertainties relating to the adoption of open source software in terms of licensing issues, security vulnerabilities, and export control regulations.

Finally, this issue includes a summary of a recent TIM Lecture presented by Jeff Greene, Director of NAM Government Affairs & Senior Policy Counsel at Symantec. Greene provided an overview of the Internet of Things to compare the hype versus reality and to examine the security implications of connecting myriad physical devices to the Internet and to each other.

In June, we cover the theme of Critical Infrastructures and Cybersecurity with guest editors Dan Craigen, Science Advisor at Communications Security Establishment Canada, and Steven Muegge, Assistant Professor in the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Along with Ibrahim Gedeon, Chief Technology Officer at TELUS, Dan Craigen is also the co-editor of our newest title in the "Best of TIM Review" book series. The book features 15 of the best articles on cybersecurity published in the TIM Review, selected and introduced by the co-editors, and with a foreword from Eros Spadotto, Executive Vice President of Technology Strategy at TELUS. Cybersecurity: Best of TIM Review is available for purchase from Amazon in ebook format for Kindle. All proceeds support the ongoing operation of the TIM Review.

In July, we welcome professors Patrick Cohendet and Laurent Simon from HEC Montréal as guest editors for a special issue on the theme of Creativity in Innovation.

For our August issue, we are accepting general submissions of articles on technology entrepreneurship, innovation management, and other topics relevant to launching and growing technology companies and solving practical problems in emerging domains. Please contact us with potential article topics and submissions.

We hope you enjoy this issue of the TIM Review and will share your comments online.

Chris McPhee

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Keywords: business ecosystems, cybersecurity, Innovation management, Internet of Things, non-practicing entities, open source policies, open source software, patent trolls, social innovation, transformative innovation