Professor Conley’s research focuses on sustainable competitive advantage in intellectual capital,
intellectual property, e-commerce, product development, product design and engineering management.
An award-winning scholar and teacher, his research investigates the strategic use of intangible assets
and intellectual properties to build and sustain competitive advantage. He has published widely in both
premier academic and practitioner journals as well as in leading business publications.

Professor Conley periodically serves as a special editor for research outlets such as the journal for the
National Academy of Inventors.
Professor Conley’s articles have appeared on some of the leading journals and industry publications. He
has written on subjects ranging from leveraging the power of trademarks and patents to creating and
sustaining brand identity and managing intellectual property on the global stage. Below is a select list of
published articles.

R&D Management
How to Create Commercial Value from Patents: The Role of Patent Management
Co-authors: Holger Ernst and Nils Omland
View journal on R&D Management »
California Management Review
Value Articulation: A Framework for the Strategic Management of Intellectual Property
Co-authors: Peter M. Bican and Holger Ernst
View journal on CMR »
World Intellectual Property Organization
Study on Patents and the Public Domain II
Co-authors: Peter M. Bican and Neil Wilkof
View in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese or Russian »
MIT Sloan Management Review
How to Develop a Successful Technology Licensing Program
Co-authors: Ulrich Lichtenthaler and Holger Ernst
View article on MIT Sloan »
Journal of Law, Technology & Policy
Friends of the Court: Using Amicus Briefs to Identify Corporate Advocacy Positions in Supreme Court Patent Litigation
Co-author: David Orozco
View journal »
Design Management Institute
Inventing Brand: Opportunities at the Nexus of Semiotics and Intellectual Property
View journal on DMI Review »
Wall Street Journal/MIT Sloan
Shape of Things to Come
Co-author: David Orozco
View article on WSJ »
Engineering With Computers
A Simulation-Based Design Paradigm for Complex Cast Components
Co-authors: S. Bordas, J. Gray, B. Moran and E. Nichols
View on SpringerLink »
Core77 webzine
Trademarks, not Patents: The Real Competitive Advantage of the Apple iPod
View »
Using Brand Identity to Reinforce Market Value: The Competitive Edge
View »
Kellogg World
Managing IP in the Global Marketplace: Practitioners Perspective
View »
Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property
Game Over: Emulation and the Video Game Industry
Co-authors: E. Andros, P. Chinai, E. Lipkowitz and D. Perez
View »
Transactions of the American Foundry Society
A Catalyst Model for Business to Business eCommerce in the Foundry Industry
Co-author: Joseph T. Scarry
Transactions of the American Foundry Society
Experimental Design of a Microgravity Solidification Facility to Assist with Casting Simulation Verification
Co-authors: Vasiliki Demas and K.F. Packer
Managing Intellectual Property Magazine
Snow White Shows the Way
Co-author: J Szoboscan
View article »

James Conley and his post-doctoral students are examining:

  • How intangible assets in general and intellectual properties in particular are changing the nature of competition for firms in both developed and developing economies.
  • Public domain IP databases and creating customized data sources that have implications for strategy, marketing and technology professionals.

The outlets for this research include journals, management reviews and more mainstream media such as the Wall Street Journal. Additionally, Professor Conley is leading workshops for academics and diffusing CRTI research findings through custom executive programs.

:: Exemplary Publications::

James Conley, Holger Ernst, Nils Omland
authoredThis article examines the relationship between patent management and indicators of a firm’s financial and patenting performance. The empirical analyses are based on a sample of 158 technology-based firms from the US and Germany across multiple industries. The article sums up the results of the analyses as such:
  • Patent protection management and patent information management are positively correlated with a firm’s level of financial profitability and the strategic and financial impact of its patent portfolio
  • The two aspects of patent management are key to determining the level of value a firm can create from patents
  • A firm’s technology strategy moderates the relationship between patent protection management and a firm’s performance

View »

James Conley, Peter M. Bican, Holger Ernst
authoredThe Value Articulation Framework is an innovation strategy framework that assimilates intellectual property management activities with the practices of marketing and strategy. The journal discusses the framework with notable examples that embody the principles as such:
  • The role of all IP regimes and their utility as management levers is central to the articulation construct
  • Optionality embedded in IP regimes can build and sustain competitive advantage
  • The Value Articulation Framework connects IP options, investments and benefits in a unique way to enable growth in existing markets and to lead the transition to new markets

View »

James G. Conley, J. Duncan Berry, Laura DeWitt, and Mark Dziersk
authoredThe journal attempts to reconcile the logic of strategy, intellectual property, brands, and semiotics to inform design management by developing a framework that finds visual equities at the intersection of strategy and brand meaning.

View »

James Conley and David Orozco
authoredThe article discusses the strategic use of intellectual property rights specifically trademarks by Apple to take hold of the competitive market for media players.
View »
Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management Academy of Inventors United States Department of Commerce  World Intellectual Property Organization