Business – University Reaction Statements to IP Theft…

Michael D. Moberly – Business Intangible Asset Strategist and Risk Mitigator – November 11, 2023

This post describes various reactions I have observed (responded) when businesses learn their ‘mission essential’ IP (intellectual property) they have developed, hold, and rely, are misappropriated and/or infringed.

Understandably, business – university reaction statements to IP theft can be emotion-laden and include…

  • expressions of anger, frustration, cynicism, and disillusionment.
  • presumptions of diminution of professional achievements underwritten by years of advanced (subject matter specific) study, preparation, relationship building, and costly R&D.
  • portrayals how the IP theft undermined (set back) research momentum in this arena.
  • struggles with conceding motives and the possibility there may be internal – external contributors and beneficiaries.
  • descriptions of adverse impacts, e.g., dollar value, time, operating culture, reputations, layoffs, closures, and competitiveness, etc.

Also, business – university reaction statements to IP theft frequently describe stages of the R&D, e.g., funding, investment, testing, refining, and bringing-to-fruition a viable service, efficiency, product, process, or procedure which could deliver advantages and benefits.

But business – university reaction statements to theft of IP may (inadvertently) dilute standing – reputation. Dilutive effects may materialize should essential when’s, why’s, where’s, who’s, and how’s, etc., are either omitted or interpreted as being unclear, inconsistent, self-serving, or perhaps conflict with initial investigative reports, or the inevitable social media posts.

Business – university timely awareness + acknowledgement of potential-probable-emerging-materializing risks and/or threats to ‘mission essential’ IP is central. If-when either is reported as having been overlooked or dismissed, they become revelatory preludes to costly reputational – credibility challenges.

For these reasons, I encourage business – university reaction statements to IP theft bring clarity to the misappropriation – infringement circumstance. Perhaps legitimately – operationally framing same as collaborations – convergences of particular holders of specific knowledge, knowhow, processes, procedures, and/or associations (intangible – non-physical) are undermined.

  1. when – how the IP holder initially learned of and reacted.
  2. potential how’s – why’s the loss likely occurred.
  3. probable motives.
  4. near-term impacts and adverse effects, and
  5. commitment to examine all/other R&D initiatives and/or technology transfer circumstances for effective safeguards and risk mitigation.

I also encourage business reaction statements to IP theft describe…

  • IP is central to business and university research.
  • R&D is essential to producing + sustaining competitive advantage, generating revenue, valuation, and attracting investment.
  • benefits, outcomes, and derivative works of R&D must remain intact for development by rightful originators – holders.

Attention to business – university reaction statements to IP theft will intensify, should legal action be proposed, irrespective of an outcomes’ influence to re-establish the R&D project.

I encourage all business leaders, R&D administrators, management teams, boards, and investors, etc., recognize that…

  • the issuance of IP (by the USPTO) rely (among other things) on applicants’ describing collections, collaborations, and convergences of unique forms, contexts, and applications of intellectual, structural, and/or relationship capital, ala intangible – non-physical assets in a unique

Inadvertently mischaracterizing proprietarily developed intangible assets, i.e., intellectual, structural, or relationship capital, as issued IP can create a host of reputational and credibility risks and challenges.

  • Issued IP conveys a (legal) designation and standing, which only attaches when forms of intellectual, structural, and/or relationship capital have been distinguished in application to and issuance by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a patent, trademark, copyright, or trade secret.

Absent an issuance of IP, I encourage businesses to describe the loss of unique content of proprietarily developed, held, and economically and competitively valuable forms of intangible assets as ‘mission essential’ knowledge, knowhow, process, procedure.

In this regard, business – university reaction statements to IP theft are obliged to recognize – convey that business – university research are intangible asset intensive, dependent, and reliant endeavors which can translate to competitiveness, valuation, and revenue generation potential. (Note, @ Business Intangible Asset Blog, Mr. Moberly describes 15 types-categories of intangible assets.)

Part II “Business – University Reaction Statements to IP Theft” is forthcoming.


Each post @ ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ is experientially researched, authored, and produced by Michael D. Moberly, principle-founder of kpstrat, to provide readers with reliable perspectives and nuanced insights to business things intangible as a business intangible asset strategist and risk mitigator.

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