Michael D. Moberly June 17, 2008
Overview of the case study company…
The following is a much abbreviated example of an intangible asset assessment I conducted in Q1, 2006 using extensive open sources and interview with the companies’ outside IP counsel. This (abbreviated) excerpt only highlights ‘what the assessment revealed’.
The ‘case study company’ is headquartered in the U.S. and is the market leader (manufacturer, supplier) of an automotive services product. This company has multiple U.S. and international manufacturing, sales, training, and distribution sites. Its annual sales exceed $300 million.
The assessment revealed…
1. A presumptive reliance (by company executives and IP counsel) on patents as the (a.) sole means of protecting-enforcing rights to proprietary know how and competitive advantages, and (b.) dominant sources of (company) value.
2. An under-appreciation for the connections – relationships between the companies’ intangible assets and its revenue, value, competitive positioning, and customer/client goodwill, etc.
3. Key know how was intertwined (embedded) with employees, management teams, and business units at various levels, functions, and global locations, absent though, consistent appreciation for (a.) the competitive advantages those assets deliver, (b.) the assets’ value, or (c.) the assets’ proprietary elements.
4. A strong-viable, but, under-appreciated base of intangible assets consisting of (a.) a proprietary web-based customer/client training system, (b.) trouble-shooting programs and data bases for clients/customers with 24/7 accessibility, (c.) business unit personnel committed to (delivering) rapid turn-around times for customer services, trouble-shooting, product delivery, and repair, and (d.) R&D unit collaboratively linked to a university, key customer, and supplier for development of new product prototypes.
Business decision makers are finding its increasingly difficult to provide effective stewardship, oversight, and management of a companies’ ‘value creation processes’ without greater appreciation – recognition for their intangible assets!