Ocean Tomo recently had their first "town hall meeting" to discuss its plans to open an IP Enterprise Zone (the "Zone") in Chicago — which sources say had an impressive attendance. Ocean Tomo plans to choose a site in downtown Chicago where it plans to house over one hundred representatives of companies interested in buying and/or selling portions of their IP portfolios. It sounds like it will be the equivalent of a very sophisticated farmers’ market. IP professionals will bring their goods to the Zone while others come to look for IP that they want or need. You can read more about it here. Ocean Tomo plans to open the Zone in mid-2008 and is partnering with city and state government, as well as the Chicago Chamber of Commerce to turn its vision of the Zone into a reality.
In addition to housing IP professionals and facilitating deal-making, Ocean Tomo also expects to open the Intellectual Property Exchange Chicago ("IPX Chicago"), which will be the first securities exchange with an IP focus in the Zone. IPX Chicago is expected to begin operating in Q1 2010. Ocean Tomo explains its IPX Chicago as follows:
IPX Chicago will enable investor and company participation in a broad spectrum of IP-related financial products such as qualified equity listing/co-listing; IP related indexes, futures and options; IP backed bonds and securitizations; patent rich company IPOs; and, new IP-based exchange-traded products.
Ocean Tomo is also seeking responses to a survey regarding interest in the Zone. If you are interested in taking the survey, click on the top link on this page. The Zone appears to be a very exciting idea with some momentum and it could be great for Chicago generally and Chicago’s IP community specifically.