Let me say at the outset, this post is not intended to convey disrespect or imply naivete to business leadership…insofar as the transactions they initiate-negotiate and their content, i.e., what intellectual, structural, and relationship capital and intellectual property (ala intangible assets) are to be shared – transferred (exposed) for execution.
I, and colleagues recognize, in most business transaction negotiations, there will be either a requisite, or an inevitability…that proprietary information, i.e., intellectual, structural, relationship capital, etc., will be exposed, become vulnerable, incur heightened probability to theft, misappropriation, and/or infringement. Too, the criticality of which, may wholly negate the transactions’ objectives.
A useful resource to any (international) transaction due diligence…is the U.S. Trade Representatives’ Section 301 Reports.
USTR ‘301 reports’ are relevant (open source) starting points…for conducting transaction due diligence on a country specific basis. Here to, transaction partners-investors can examine 301’s to acquire (polite) insights into countries’ attitudes and practices about, among other things, intellectual property matters.
In many instances, 301’s signal a need for…further investigation or inclusion in transaction negotiation, upon which more objective – practical (transaction) risk assessments can emerge, especially for transaction partners – holders in which there are demands – necessities to share or transfer valuable, competitive advantage, and proprietary information as a requisite to consummating the transaction.
In other instances, a close examination of 301’s in concert with…communication with the U.S. State Departments Overseas Security Advisory Council, may reveal and/or bring necessary clarity to issues of import to transaction negotiators and the negotiation, as a whole.
Most who are regularly involved in this arena…have heard and/or read essentially, the same ‘headline’ many times over, wherein company leadership announce,
…a critical piece of this company’s intellectual property has been stolen!
To my knowledge, few, if any companies actually mandate or perhaps convey an expectation…that their leadership shall…
- know – fully understand the distinctions and legalities of every piece of intellectual property which they hold exclusive ownership,
- ala intellectual, structural, and relationship capital which underlie patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.
- or, how specific ‘protected products’ and ‘knowledge’ are being used, shared, or transferred as part of a business transaction globally.
It does seem reasonable today, in light of the…
- economic fact that 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, competitiveness, sustainability, and growth potential lie in – emerge directly from intangible assets, of which intellectual properties are significant subsets.
- globally aggressive and predatorial nature of business transactions.
- there is now, more than ever, compelling reasons for business leadership to seek-aquire relevant levels of operational familiarity with their company’s intangibles,
- especially the intellectual, structural, relationship capital upon which all intellectual properties originate.
The acquisition of such familiarity can position business leadership…to initiate, and in some instances, be a legitimate and valued contributor to negotiate stronger transactions which carry higher probabilities that objectives will be met. Those attributes, readers, are, without exception, a good thing!
Michael D. Moberly May 18, 2018 St. Louis firstname.lastname@example.org ‘The Intangible Asset Blog’ (http://kpstrat.com/blog) where attention span and action really matter!