Why intellectual property and intangible assets should be on every decision makers dash board! In today’s extraordinarily deepening financial crisis (recession), it can be an incredibly fine line between a company remaining stable and sustainable and fighting for its financial survival. One often overlooked, discounted, and frequently neglected aspect to ‘economic survival can lie in effective management of intellectual property and intangible assets.
In today’s extraordinarily deepening financial crisis (recession), it can be a very fine line between a company remaining stable and sustainable and fighting for its financial survival. One often overlooked, discounted, and frequently neglected aspect to ‘economic survival can lie in achieving two things, i.e., a company’s ability to
- recognize, maximize, position, and extract value from its intellectual property and intangible assets, and
- sustain possession, control, use, ownership, and exclusive rights to those assets throughout their life-value cycle.
A significant point for business decision makers to acknowledge, at the outset, is the economic fact that 75+% of most company’s value and sources of revenue and (future) wealth creation today lie in their intellectual property and intangible assets. Brookings Institution, Intangibles Research Project and Weston Anson, CONSOR
So why is it important, even essential then, for these issues to be permanent fixtures on business decision makers’ dash boards? It’s because:
1. The time frames when the most value can be extracted (realized) from intangible assets is shrinking (Weston Anson) in part, due to:
- lower market – transaction entry barriers by global competitors
- significant and rapid profits achieved from infringed and counterfeited goods/products
- the reality that intellectual property – intangible asset infringement, counterfeiting, and/or replication are embedded (socially, economically, politically) in the economics of many country’s gross domestic product.
2. Conventional intellectual property protections, i.e., patents, trademarks, and copyrights:
- no longer serve as ‘stand alone’ deterrents or safe harbors from global networks of aggressive, predatorial, and ‘winner-take-all’ infringing, counterfeiting, and economic espionage operations.
- are no longer consistent or relevant as indicators/measures of company and/or project (investment) value.
- can protect/achieve economic – competitive advantage benefits for the rightful owner only so long as they are applied in concert with other information asset protection measures.
3. Global networks of data mining, business intelligence, and economic espionage operate a ‘warp speed’ today, and can rapidly:
- erode asset value
- undermine strategic planning and competitive advantages
- cause irreversible/unrecoverable economic hemorrhaging on a global scale.
4. The growing universality and application (international equivalents) of Sarbanes-Oxley and FASB mandates require accounting and reporting of materiality (value) changes in intangible assets.
Effective management, stewardship, and oversight (protection) of those assets must now extend well beyond reliance on conventional intellectual property protections and product life cycle management techniques. Instead, management (stewardship, oversight) of company intellectual properties and intangible assets must be re-framed to include much more than mere protection, rather include practices, procedures, and technologies specifically designed to sustain (those assets’) control, use, ownership, and value for the duration of their functional life-value cycle and/or transaction in which they’re in play.
Mr. Moberly has conducted numerous national presentations, seminars, and training for business organizations and professional associations on a range of issues related to helping companies sustain control, use, ownership, and value of their intellectual property, intangible assets, proprietary information and competitive advantages.