Michael D. Moberly March 12, 2009
First, let it be clear at the outset, conducting an assessment of a company’s intangible assets and intellectual property is not an exercise that’s useful (only) after a problem, i.e., compromise, loss, misappropriation, theft, or infringement, etc., comes to light or a lawsuit has materialized.
Secondly, it’s essential for company decision makers, e.g., c-suites, boards, and D&O’s to all recognize the economic – business reality that 65+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and foundations for future wealth creation and sustainability lie in – are directly linked to intangible assets and intellectual property.
A comprehensive (intangible asset, IP) assessment (as described in numerous previous posts at this blog) produces many proactive functions and benefits and produces strong multiplier effects for (a.) entrepreneurs, (b.) start-ups, (c.) SME’s (small, medium enterprises), (d.) SMM’s (small, medium multinationals), and (e.) mature firms, by, among other things:
1. bringing economic – competitive advantage clarity to a company’s intangibles and IP
2. unraveling the developmental origins of a company’s assets and related issues (problems, concerns) that warrant attention and/or corrective action
3. identify the key value points within a company, e.g., know how, competitive advantages, etc., that are frequently embedded (overlooked, neglected) that could otherwise be exploited and/or leveraged
4. identify the necessary measures that need to be put in place to (a.) sustain control, use, ownership, and value of the company’s assets, (b.) reflect the circumstances and nature of a company’s innovation, competitive advantages and assets, and (c.) help facilitate the company’s strategic business plan
5. identify and prioritize paths-strategies to stop and/or mitigate any possible economic/competitive advantage hemorrhaging that may be occurring with respect to a company’s assets that undermine (their) competitive advantages, profitability, market position, and/or erode the value of its assets.
6. identify and prioritize practical business strategies (alternatives) to address any current and/or anticipated challenges/problems related to competitive advantages – economic losses attributed to infringement, theft, misappropriation, competitor intelligence, new transactions in which IP or intangibles are in play, and/or (new) market entry planning, etc.
An intangible asset – IP assessment can also be particularly useful as a preparatory prelude to meetings with legal (intellectual property) counsel in terms of serving as an efficient mechanism for decision makers to (a.) articulate-convey their ‘business positions and strategies’ with respect to their intangible assets and IP, and (b.) efficiently reach consensus (with counsel’s guidance) on courses of action (relative to commercializing, monetizing, leveraging, and/or maximizing the value of those assets) that best reflects their needs, circumstances, resources, and strategic business plan.