Don’t Overlook Safeguarding Intangibles Assets and IP…

Michael D. Moberly, Principal, Founder kpstrat and ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’

There are numerous U.S. and UK (public-private sector, university) studies-research (well-conceived – objectively executed) which are directed to business leaders and management teams on matters related to safeguarding…

  • intellectual property (IP), and
  • other forms, types, categories, contexts, and applications of proprietarily developed, held, and applied intangible assets.

Consistently, the analysis of each, (referenced @ finds ‘strong agreement’ that while those assets are essential to a business’s mission, i.e.,

  • sustaining – advancing competitiveness, revenue generation capability, valuation, and attracting investment, warrant safeguarding, for the
  • duration of their respective value – materiality – contributory (life) cycle.

they warrant effective safeguards…

Note: I have had the pleasure of serving as a principal investigator and/or consultant/advisor to several such studies, many of which I have described – referenced in posts a ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’.

An important underlier (business economic – operation reality) not-to-be-dismissed nor discounted in the analysis-findings of each such study, not surprisingly, is that… 

  • the ‘mission centrality + estimated value’ and safeguards essential to these assets is frequently un-under-recognized, and instead, are
  • often presumptive and/or aspirational insofar as being practically appreciated, consistently practiced, and deemed obligatory to mitigate asset vulnerability, probability, and criticality to risk materialization that currently exists.

Today, and for the foreseeable future, 70-80+% of most business’s valuation, revenue generation capability-capacity, competitiveness, sustainability, and future wealth creation potential either lie in or emerge directly from business things intangible, overwhelmingly in various forms, contexts, and applications of…

  • intellectual capital – relevant knowledge, know how, and expertise.
  • structural capital – ways relevant processes, procedures, methods, and developments are-differentiated, treated, applied to products and services.
  • relationship capital – business’ alignment with relevantassociations, sources, organizations, customer-client-consumer interests, and regulatory-oversight…
    • all-of-which preferably converge in a business’s operating culture.

Respectfully, some business leaders, management teams, boards, and investors find + need their attention, time, and expertise be drawn to other pressing issues, and/or risk materializations which can convene + cascade @ keystroke speeds to jeopardize the sustainability of reputations, brands, products, and services.

To be sure, I am not suggesting ‘safeguarding mission essential intangible assets’ must always be ‘top of mind’ of business leaders, et al.

A plausible remedy to this (fiduciary) obligation, which I encourage, is ‘bringing operational resonance + clarity to a business’s ‘always on’ operating culture in ways that same shall practically contribute to safeguarding essential business things intangible.

Doing so, guides – aids businesses in mitigating a business (brand, reputation, product, or service) vulnerability – probability – criticality to misappropriation and/or infringement of its key intangible assets.

Readers are obliged to recognize that small, mid-sized businesses and/or startups, irrespective of sector, (a.) are substantially more likely to be intangible asset intensive, reliant, and dependent, and (b.) conventionally issued IP does not serve as standalone deterrents to would be poachers, infringers, or mis-appropriators.

Experientially, business leaders, management teams, boards, and investors consider these obligations more palatable – relevant to ‘tackle’ when they are framed in ‘normative contexts’ which encourage reflection, deliberation, and discussion, e.g.,

  1. what should management team – operating culture attitudes be toward distinguishing and safeguarding their business’s – brands primary source of valuation, competitiveness, sustainability, and revenue generation…
  2. what are the recognized – best practice levels of awareness + safeguards necessary to
  • mitigate vulnerability – probability – criticality of risks to ‘mission essential’ intangible assets.
  • defend, recoup, and possibly recover.

The ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ is experientially researched, written, and produced by Michael D. Moberly, to provide readers (business leaders, management teams, boards, and investors with reliable perspectives and nuanced insights to distinguish, value, and safeguard business things intangible designated as mission essential. 

Readers of this, and other posts, @ Business Intangible Asset Blog’ are-encouraged to offer comments.

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