Don’t Presume Trade Sanctions – Tariffs Will Deter IP Theft…

Michael D. Moberly – February 29, 2024 – Business Intangible Asset Strategist & Risk Mitigator – Founder, Business Intangible Asset Blog & kpstrat

Developers-holders of issued IP or proprietary content of other intangible assets which have been misappropriated, stolen, or infringed, etc. are obliged to avoid presuming that …

Neither trade sanctions nor tariffs are necessarily the most effective means to curtail or deter nefarious inclinations held by globally predatorial bad actors.  Nor should sanctions or tariffs be framed as ‘all-inclusive and enduring cure-alls.  Both, however, may seem politically expedient and ideologically relevant.

 Unfortunately, though, when developers – holders of proprietarily developed innovation and/or issued IP learn same has been misappropriated, (stolen, infringed, etc.) the consequences – adversities may emerge slowly or rapidly. Regardless, both will be costly, irreversible, un-recoupable, and dispiriting to reputations and operating cultures.

Too, theft – misappropriation frequently stifle innovation momentum, cause economic – competitive advantage setbacks, and produce an array of challenges to reputation and credibility, which collectively…

  • undermine and devalue operating culture.
  • deter additional investment.
  • influence key contributors to seek employment elsewhere ala ‘leave a damaged or sinking ship’.

 For these, and other reasons, asset developers and holders (of misappropriated intangible assets) are obliged to recognize – respect these economic – business realities and the potential (vulnerability, probability, criticality) for their materialization from the outset, i.e., during all phases of asset development.

There are no quick fixes, remedial actions, nor recovery do-overs available that lead asset developers – holders to ‘return to wholeness’ with the misappropriated intangible assets intact. These are harsh – unforgiving realities to the casualties of misappropriation, whether a startup, or small, medium, or large business.

For starters, developers – holders of unique, innovative, proprietary, and ‘mission essential’ content, are obliged to recognize same lies in – emerges from various forms, contexts, and applications of intellectual and structural capital.

Intellectual capital translates to unique knowledge and knowhow, while structural capital translates to equally unique processes and/or procedures which uniquely allow both to marry. Intellectual and structural capital are relevant to all forms of proprietarily developed intangible assets including issued IP, for example, the unique content of issued Intangible Capital: Putting Knowledge to Work in the 21st-Century Organization: 9780313380747: Adams, Mary, Oleksak, Michael, Edvinsson, Leif: Books

Innovation developers, holders, and investors are also obliged to recognize – consider the decades long presence of proprietary information brokering and IP misappropriation enterprises, globally whether they are state sponsored or independent operators. Neither are likely to merely go away due to imposition of tariffs or trade sanctions. “A Comparative Approach to Economic Espionage: Is Any Nation Effectivel” by Melanie Reid (

A prominent reason not unlike any other business venture, there is far too much demand for such services and ‘this industry’ is solidly in place to offer + provide minutia of same tactically – strategically, irrespective of client, stage, sector, size, or location. Fuld & Company | What is Competitive Intelligence? | Fuld & Company

Efforts to deter same via (sanctions, tariffs, criminal prosecutions, or civil actions) may offer some ‘general deterrents’ to prospective players in the illicit side of global economic, competitive, business intelligence collection.

It’s unlikely however either can produce the necessary ‘specific deterrents’ for developers-holders-leaders to ever presume that unique – promising innovation need only minimal-safeguards and risk mitigation to prevent misappropriation.

Instead, developers – holders, along with R&D administrators and investors in innovative and proprietary intangible assets, are obliged to be ‘always alert (in practice and procedure) to arrays of disconcerting circumstances and/or risks which can jeopardize assets innovativeness, competitiveness, development, and investment for the duration of its respective value – materiality – functionality (life) cycle. Stone v Ritter Implications – kpstrat

Alertness to troubling circumstances which can intentionally – asymmetrically emerge at keystroke speeds, and cascade adversely throughout an enterprise are one example. The initial – nefarious consequences of same may be intended – designed to undermine credibility and reputation of innovation developers, holders, and their mission.

Readers are invited to examine ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ a book I authored at 

Posts @ Business Intangible Asset Blog present various business economic – operational realities. Each warrants the attention of business leaders, entrepreneurs, R&D administrators, management teams, boards, and investors across sectors. Mitigating (reacting, responding to) the often ‘public – viral’ risks and challenges which produce reputational risks, are obligations with little room or time for equivocation or error.

The Business Intangible Asset Blog was created in 2006 and now includes 1200+ topic-specific posts. Each post is intended to provide readers with unique and reliable insights on current matters related to – affecting business things intangible.

Posts at Business Intangible Asset Blog are developed – written solely by Mr. Moberly (not AI), and are intended to draw readers attention to the development, application, management, safeguards, and risk mitigation obligations necessary today for business’s ‘mission essential’ intangible assets.

Readers are also invited to explore other posts, along with books and papers available @ ‘Home – kpstrat

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