About Michael D. Moberly

Michael Moberly, Intangible Asset and Intellectual Property Strategist

I am an intangible asset strategist – risk specialist, researcher-author, and  trainer on matters related to all things intangible.

I am among a niche of national – international practitioners whose (client) services, research, and writing is executed, almost exclusively, through an intangible asset lens.

It’s probable you may not have had the opportunity yet:

to take a meeting with a professional who exclusively engages – exploits ‘all things intangible’. If so, perhaps it’s time you extend an invitation, on behalf of your business. Too be sure, it would be my pleasure to accept!

Clients whom I serve:

seminar attendees to whom I speak, colleagues whom I collaborate and transactions I have lead, describe my work product and engagement style as respectful, ethical, collaborative, and focused.

These manifest as commitments to guide clients, companies, and businesses to:

identify, unravel, develop, and exploit, the value, competitive advantages, sources of revenue, and reputation derived from – embedded in intangible assets.
mitigate risks to and safeguard businesses intangible assets, however, whenever, wherever they are in play, i.e., transactions, R&D, and other initiatives businesses undertake in today’s always on, go fast, go hard, go global operating environments.
sustain control, use, ownership, and monitor value and materiality of businesses intangible assets throughout their life-value-functionality cycle.

My professional experiences and demeanor

collectively emerge from service in the U.S. Army (paratrooper, 173d Airborne Brigade Vietnam, 82d Airborne Division), federal and state departments of corrections, a 25+ year career in academia – Southern Illinois University and Webster University, and intangible asset strategist since 2006.

From these experiences I acquired – honed domestic and international credentials, experiences:

a strong work-research regimen, business – client engagement acumen, and communication skills. I hold BA and MPA degrees from Indiana University along with hours toward a doctoral degree in political science at Southern Illinois University.

Throughout my 25+ years in academia

I remained aggressively engaged in (strategic – horizonal) research, publishing, teaching, conducting national – international presentations, and consulting, most, variously related to the field of ‘security studies – protection of assets’ and safeguarding – exploiting public – private sector intangible assets. 

My primary emphasis of work, writing, and client engagements remains

to take a meeting with a professional who exclusively engages – exploits ‘all things intangible’. If so, perhaps it’s time you extend an invitation, on behalf of your business. 

Too be sure, it would be my pleasure to accept!

I have conducted 70+ nationally – international:

presentations, seminars, and advisories for companies, professional societies, government agencies, and various business-security groups.

My discreet demeanor:

serves as entrée for acquiring operational level insights to circumstances in which ethics, trust, and respect are requisite attributes.

Collectively, these experiences laid relevant foundations

to be variously engaged in unraveling suspicious incidents of (corporate, university) intellectual property infringement – theft – misappropriation and proprietary R&D, for which I developed specific protocols for

  • unraveling the origins and status of the intangible assets in play, i.e., their stability, fragility, defensibility, sustainability, value, competitive advantage, (ala contributory role and value) and influence on business reputation.

I receive significant professional satisfaction from working with

  • intangible asset intensive and dependent go fast. go hard, go global research-based startups and businesses, irrespective of sector, size, or revenue.
  • the receptivity and speed which most entrepreneurially focused management teams, boards, c-suites, investors, and shareholder’s attention is drawn to the intangible asset side of their business.

The collaborative and respectful demeanor I exhibit and deliver

through my skill sets, services, and products, in conjunction with their lucrative – competitive outcomes, emerge from bringing clarity to clients and businesses with respect to…

  • how intangible assets develop, mature, and become embedded in business processes and products as intellectual, structural, and relationship capital.
  • converting the contributory roles and value of intangible assets to sources of revenue, competitive advantage, risk mitigation, and enhancing reputation.


attached to my blogsite are numerous excerpts of recorded (video) interviews extracted from network-cable media appearances and journalistic initiatives, in which I offer relevant views, insights, and experiences on various intangible asset matters.

Research Projects Independently Undertaken

1. State-corporate sponsored economic espionage – competitive business intelligence operations directed toward corporate – university research collaborations.

2. National Public Radio large market stations with resources for internal news reporting and programming to recognize, assess, and exploit their collective – contributory intangible assets for value, competitive advantage, market-audience expansion, and fund-raising contexts.

3. Insider Theft Project coordinator, conducted in conjunction with DoD’s Personnel Security Research Center, Monterrey, CA and ASIS International’s Information Asset Protection Council which I chaired.

4. Competitive-business intelligence operation methodologies and speed of interaction with designated (early stage company – research-based startup) targets.

5. Pre-post business transaction (intangible asset) due diligence develop methodologies for determining-monitoring intangible assets contributory role, value, stability, fragility, and sustainability.

6. Islamic (Sharia) law interpretations – application in western contexts, i.e., proprietary information and intellectual properties.

7. Organizational resilience to the materialization of risk and it’s intangible assets.

8. Technology transfer of intangible assets, primarily in corporate – university-based research alliances.

9. Venture capital and investor forums, i.e., preparing research-based startup leadership for prospective investor Q&A.

10. Liaison corporate-university research to sustain, monitor, and the development of valuable – competitive advantage intangible assets, primarily, intellectual, structural, and relationship capital.

I served as a principle research investigator to

the fifth annual ‘Trends In Proprietary Information Loss’ (national) Survey for U.S. headquartered companies.  I and three colleagues designed and wrote areas of inquiry and analyzed findings for this national survey sponsored by (a.) the American Society for Industrial Security International Foundation, and (b.) the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive (U.S. intelligence community, Dept. of State, Dept. of Defense)

  • Our findings were incorporated in ONCIX’ ‘Annual Report to the President on Economic Espionage’ and routinely sited – referenced by the executive and legislative branches respectively, national media, and leadership of U.S. headquartered companies.

Business-Client Engagement Examples

1. An early stage internet services company…sought my services to address two challenges they were experiencing, first, the company had not established any (conventional IP enforcements) or applied other measures to safeguard their proprietary (dual use) software, and second, refine a strategy to address the inevitable ‘IP position’ questions for an upcoming (second round) venture capital meeting. Solution paths…

2. Chemical engineer consultants…were referred to my services after being denied – not compensated for use of an innovative process they had developed that permitted their employer (a home construction product manufacturer) to achieve (immediate) industry-wide competitive advantages. Solution paths…

3. Entrepreneur business partners…sought my services after they were denied ‘a mark’ they had developed for their product soon to be launched. Their ‘mark’ application had been rejected by USPTO based on grounds of similarity and consumer confusion. Solution paths…

4. Owner of a security technology company…sought my counsel (referral from IP attorney) following civil action (and an injunction) alleging his misappropriation of ‘trade secrets’. Solution paths…

5. Intellectual property insurance provider…sought my insights regarding factors-variables that elevate probability – propensity that an insured may file a fraudulent claim, and if so, investigative strategies to unravel the circumstances. Solution paths…

6. University-based agricultural scientists…sought me out for clarity, insights, and recommendations regarding safeguards for their corporate alliance – funded research projects that would measurably mitigate vulnerability-probability (risk) to misappropriation, compromise, and product piracy. Solution paths…

7. Franchise holder…sought my services to articulate and assign values (replicable methodology) to the IA equity, primarily in the form of relationship and structural capital inputs relative to a pending transaction. Solution paths…

8. National Public radio…expressed interest in my expertise to characterize – differentiate (frame) their on-air social media, news reporting, programming and podcast services in IA contexts to aid in recognizing, differentiating, and measuring programmatic contributory value. Solution paths…

9. Technical designer of CCTV systems…engaged me to articulate the CCTC system he had developed relative to marketing-sales language to differentiate and draw client’s attention to its intangible features and outcomes, particularly for lodging environments and how to incorporate same. Solution paths…

10. University researchers…sought my services relative to their development of a distinctive probiotic designed to mitigate nausea. This attracted interest from the Department of Defense and multiple ‘bio – pharma’ firms. The principle investigators’ early experimentation and open communication were undermining their credibility and attractivity of their discovery. Solution paths…

Client briefing papers

I have independently researched, designed, and written numerous ‘briefing papers’ on a range of business operating issues largely related to intangible asset matters (see examples below distinguished by subject matter and title).

1. Enterprise Risk Management for Intangible Assets
  • Risk intelligent business culture’s for exploiting – safeguarding intangible assets…
  • Stewardship, oversight, and development of lucrative, proprietary, competitive advantage intangible assets…
  • What business decision makers are obliged to know now about their intangible assets…
  • Organizational resilience planning – execution intangible asset intensive – dependent businesses…
  • Assessing attractivity, demand, and adversary targeting of a business’s intangible assets…
  • Insiders as adversaries – enablers of theft-infringement of proprietary intangible assets and IP
2. R&D
  • Unraveling and assessing safeguards for R&D projects to reduce vulnerability-probability to time consuming – costly disputes, challenges, and entanglements…
  • Proactively identify stability, fragility, defensibility, and value dilution of key intangible assets…
  • International R&D collaborations – challenges, considerations, and prudence…
  • Ways to avoid proprietary intangible asset ‘genies’ escaping their R&D bottle prematurely…
3. Market Entry Planning, Monitoring, and Due Diligence for Intangible Assets
  • Safeguarding proprietary intangible assets and competitive advantages to Beat The Odds against theft, infringement, and/or compromise…
  • Mitigate asset vulnerability, probability and criticality of intangible assets to gray market activities…
  • Recognizing – distinguishing nuances, requirements, and risks to ‘country centric IP laws’ before collaboration – transactions commence…
4. Intangible Asset Due Diligence Pre-Post Transaction
  • When 80% of an investment’s value – projected return lie in – are dependent of intangible asset performance, conventional, generic, one size fits all – snap-shots-in-time checklists – due diligence seldom ‘paint a comprehensive portrait’ of transaction realities and risks…
  • Impairments, entanglements, compromises, and fragility of businesses intangible assets are frequent precursors to potentially profitable transactions ‘going to zero’…
  • Prudent covenants to mergers-acquisitions include monitoring the status, stability, fragility, value, and sustainability of the intangible asset in play, ie., pre-post transaction…
  • Indicators – precursors that a business’s intangible assets have become impaired, ensnared, infringed, or otherwise compromised…
  • Protocols for contesting – countering claims of ‘trade secret’ misappropriation…
  • Conventional IP no longer constitutes stand-alone deterrents…
  • Categories and origins of foreign-domestic business-competitive intelligence and economic espionage…
5. University-Based Research and Research-Based Startups
  • What’s your ‘startups’ IP position’? Going beyond the obligatory to mitigate investor risk…
  • VC-investor exit strategies should include ‘resilience planning’ for both the intangible asset (proprietary) competitive advantages in play…
  • Preparing early stage firms to ‘pitch’ prospective investors and VC’s…
  • University – corporate research collaboratives; negotiated, responsive, and ensuring intangible asset safeguards beyond conventional IP enforcements…
  • Principles of academic freedom and open scientific communication; re-framing time honored hallmarks to mitigate global challenges – risks posed by ‘big data’ mining and ultra-sophisticated competitive-business intelligence collection and economic espionage. (Advancing The Debate Beyond Its 16th Century Origins)
  • Interest-based bargaining; a realistic tool – methodology for university researchers to engage opportunities for technology transfer…
  • Avoid treating intangible assets as renewable resources…
6. Published Papers (examples)
  • Safeguarding Proprietary Information: The Worldwide Competitor and Economic Intelligence Phenomenon (Published in Cyber Strategies: Vol. 2, No.2, Summer, 2000)
  • IP Due Diligence for Venture Capital and Angel Investors: Don’t Buy Unnecessary Risk! (Triangle Tech Journal, January 2005)
  • Off-Shoring Intellectual Capital: Is History Repeating Itself? Are There Lessons Learned From Y2k? (Memphis Business Journal, February 2004).
  • It’s The Information Stupid! (Protection of Assets, August – September 2001).
  • Moberly, M. D., & Cheon, J. (2009). Use intangible assets to weather the financial crisis. Intellectual Asset Management Magazine, 33. 14-18.
  • Moberly, M. D., & Cheon, J. (2011). Enterprise Security. Intellectual Asset Management Magazine, 45, 66-72.
  • Moberly, Michael D. (2013) Intangible Assets: Safeguarding What Really Matters to Companies. Intellectual Asset Management (UK)
  • Moberly, Michael D. (2010) Enterprise Security. Intellectual Asset Management (UK)
7. Books Published

 ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ Elsevier, July 2014.

  • This book which represents the initial treatise on businesses’ expanding fiduciary responsibilities to ‘sustain control, use, ownership, and monitor the contributory value, materiality, and risk’ to their intangible assets.

• ‘On-Boarding for University Technology Transfer’ (a principal contributor) published in series by BVR (Business Valuation Resources) Portland, OR

  • I lead – collaborated with a team of experts in researching and writing a comprehensive paper that serves as an ‘on-boarding’ primer (book) targeting university-based research communities engaged in technology transfer.
  • I am currently in latter stage of completing a new book which focuses on business-company-institution operational obligations and demonstrated strategies to identify, develop, monetize, commercialize, and safeguard their IA’s for positive returns and competitive advantages and their conversion to value, competitive advantage, sources of revenue.
8. Presentations, Seminars, Webinars, Briefings, Media Appearances (examples)

I have had the good fortune to conduct 70+ regional, national, and international presentations, webinars, keynotes, and invited small group discussions-seminars, most related to timely-relevant business intangible asset matters-issues, e.g.,

  • National Public Radio – Morning Marketplace Program – Recommended to show producer by professional society for on-air discussion regarding ‘rise in trade secret theft in U.S. company’s’.
  • European Information Asset Protection Conference – London, UK – Invited keynote speaker to address ‘Safeguarding Proprietary Corporate Intangible Assets’.
  • CNBC’s Investing – MSN Money; recommended to show producer by colleagues and professional society to engage in live (on-air) interview regarding a specific trade secret theft case involving Chinese.
  •  DoD’s Personnel Security Research Center – Monterrey, CA, invited presentation and discussion to entire PERSEREC staff on matters related to economic espionage focus on intangible assets.
    •  I arranged a follow-up multi-hour discussion with PERSEREC staff and ‘tech company subject matter experts’ to address the subject of ‘insider theft’ of proprietary intangible assets.
  • CNN evening news program; recommended to show producer by professional society for an on-air interview on matters related to ‘economic espionage being perpetrated against U.S. company’s’.
  • Society of Certified Public Accountants, Memphis, TN – Topic: Invited to speak on the topic of ‘Valuing Intangible Assets’.
  • Shanghai, China – Entering new markets and safeguarding key proprietary intangible assets. Theses presentations – discussions occurred in a series of six independently arranged conferences with managing directors of U.S., U.K., and Chinese owned firms throughout Shanghai.
  • Naval Post Graduate School, National Security Affairs Department, Monterey, CA Invited by International Security Studies Department Chair to discuss my research regarding economic espionage and product-company targeting by global economic – competitive advantage adversaries. Invited to chair graduate thesis for U.S. Naval (Intelligence) Officer.
  • OPSEC Professionals Society Annual Seminar – two-time invited speaker (one a keynote) by OPSEC Executive Director to address ‘converting principles of ‘operations security’ for application to U.S. companies to safeguard their proprietary intangible assets’. Clearwater, FL and Colorado Springs, CO (Peterson, AFB) where my presentation immediately followed remarks by the incoming Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • U.S. Department of State, the Director and Deputy Director of DoS’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), Washington. DC. Invited to discuss my research on ‘distinguishing and assessing economic espionage adversaries targeting U.S. companies’.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation, headquarters, Washington. D.C., Invited by Special Agent In Charge, National Security Division, to discuss my independent research wherein I categorized foreign economic and competitive advantage adversaries targeting U.S. university-based research.
  • Oxford University – Invited guest speaker for ‘Oxford University Roundtable’ podcast to 100+ EU intangible asset practitioners on the topic of ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’.
  • National Academy of Sciences, Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (Washington, D.C.) Invited to speak about safeguards in university-corporate research alliances.
  • George Washington University Graduate School, Washington, DC. Three-time invited guest lecturer for course titled ‘Economic Espionage’.
  • National Classification Management Society, Huntsville, AL Invited keynote speaker regarding ‘foreign adversaries targeting government – private sector R&D’.
  • Army Research Laboratory HQ’s, Adelphi, MD – Invited to speak to group of multi-agency officials regarding my research categorizing foreign (economic espionage) adversaries.
  • Chicago Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section. Invited by Section Chair to conduct first ever presentation on ‘Safeguarding Corporate Intangible Assets’ to an SRO audience.
  • American Society of Quality, Memphis, TN – Invited by Chapter Chair to make presentation about ‘identifying, distinguishing, and assessing contributory role and value of intangible assets to a company operations and transactions’.
  • Deloitte Managing Director, IP Management Group, Chicago, IL. Invited by Managing Director discuss my research (to his team) regarding adverse economic – competitive advantage effects of economic espionage to U.S. companies’.
    •  In addition to the above, I have been invited to make numerous other presentations to agriculture, chemical engineering, accounting, business, and economic faculty researchers, scientists, and research administrators at multiple universities, and private think tanks.
    • Also, I have been invited to engage in – conduct numerous one-on-one briefings-discussions with various echelons of corporations and federal agencies regarding my independently conducted research, its findings, revelations, and relevance to private and public sectors.
9. Professional Society Service & Contributions
Respectfully, my colleagues frequently describe me as a ‘thought leader’ insofar as developing professional (trust) relationships with national and international firms, their executives, and security practitioners internationally, which in several instances have led to being nominated to hold-serve various appointments to professional association (volunteer) leadership.
a. Intangible Asset Finance Society
  • Chair, Program Development and Global Outreach – my responsibilities included elevating global awareness for Society initiatives.
  • Secured global subject matter experts to headline monthly 60-minute telephonic – interactive seminars with Society membership which I produced and moderated.
    • These monthly seminars contributed to the Society’s website going from 100+ monthly visitors to consistently 100k+ unique monthly visitors which translated as measurable global awareness, interest, and participation in Society initiatives.\
b. American Society for Industrial Security International
  • Chair, Information Asset Protection Council (appointed twice)
  • Convergence Task Force – Advisor-Member (invited)
  • Security Education Symposia (Invited participant and group facilitator for six consecutive years.)
  • Chair, Academic Programs Council
  • Seminar program co-chair, ‘Y2k Security Seminar’ (Washington, DC)
  • Information Security Task Force (Body of Knowledge) invited member. ASIS International
  • Seminar (2-day) program chair – ‘Information Asset Protection’ (Denver, CO)
  • Voted by colleagues and superiors as ASIS Internationals’ Council Chairperson of the year for 2013.
    • Note, my submission proposals to ASIS-International (a 36k+ member society) were selected 7+ times for ASIS-International’s Annual Seminar & Exhibits (world’s largest security products-education venue)
c. Chair of ASIS Internationals’ Information Asset Protection Council
  • During my tenure as Council Chair, I and colleagues lead a successful effort of global colleagues to re-focus our collective expertise to a global educational mission. This mission was effectively executed by…
    • instituting monthly (60 minute) ‘global guest and subject matter expert conference call training’ for Council members and 150+ ‘friends/colleagues of the Council’
    • reflecting the materialization of risks to proprietary information assets, but not solely as IT breaches, rather as systemic act-events often conducted by economic-competitive advantage adversaries and/or ‘insiders’ that produced adverse effects – reputation risks.
    • reflecting the ‘economic fact that 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, and wealth creation lie in – directly emerge from intellectual – structural capital intangible assets and IP.
    • re-framing the conventional (scope limiting) terminology conveyed by information security to the broader and more relevant information asset protection identifier.
    • recognizing the value of proprietary business information (intangible) assets can fluctuate, therefore flexible – maneuverable safeguards should be applied to monitor and sustain control, use, value, and ownership of IA’s throughout their economic, contributory, and functionality-materiality cycles, not necessarily for the lifetime of the company, as is the case with conventional IP registrations.
    • re-framing application of (information asset) safeguards away from conventional IP legal enforcements, i.e., patents, etc., to strategic business decisions and fiduciary responsibilities.
    • addressing market entry planning with businesses proprietary intangible assets are distinguishable transactions that warrant risk assessment and pre-post due diligence.