Dr. Seuss’ Intangible Assets…

Michael D. Moberly, Principal, Founder kpstrat and ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog – Business Intangible Asset Strategies and Risk Mitigator

Business leaders are obliged to consider if their business ‘holds – is sitting on’ particularly unique collections – collaborations of intangible assets (see previous posts for definitions – explanations) which may variously hold broader appeal, application, and potential for exploitation.

In 2020, Dr. Seuss Enterprises discontinued six books deemed to contain racist content and stated, ‘ceasing sales of these books is part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure the Dr. Seuss catalog represents and supports all communities and families’.

  • Dr. Seuss Enterprises (is a private company that manages the work of the late Theodore Seuss Geisel). Same engaged in a campaign to address Dr. Seuss’ ‘fractured history on race’.

Today, Dr. Seuss Enterprises is performing well, due in part their holding ‘all things Dr. Seuss’ as proprietary intangible assets – ala IP (intellectual property) which the (animated) film, streaming, theme park, and children’s merchandizing sectors’ respectively, seek license to use, e.g.,

  • the Dr. Seuss brand is cited as the top literary license in the U.S., selling more (print) copies that any other IP-based book.

There is no debate here regarding Dr. Seuss’ content and how it is – may be interpreted. A point I do wish to convey strongly is that the IP held byDr. Seuss Enterprises is one particular-type of intangible asset, not vice-versa.

Accordingly, I advocate @ Business Intangible Asset Blog, that business leaders, management teams, boards, and investors respectively, are (fiduciarily) obliged to…

  • consider how their proprietarily developed – applied intangible assets are ‘being treated’.
  • seek ‘operational familiarity’ with their particular – intangible assets, especially those which…
  • have converged in business operating culture, and
  • deliver specific – measurable value adds, competitive advantages, and contribute to revenue generation capability-capacity, valuation, and sustainability.

Let’s be clear, I am not suggesting that achieving ‘operational familiarity’ with a business’s ‘mission essential’ intangible assets, will necessarily reveal a ‘pot-of-gold’ awaiting exploitation.

Those business leaders, et al, who may be ‘operationally unfamiliar’ with the proprietarily developed, held, and applied intangible assets which they are charged with overseeing – managing – applying, etc.,

  • it’s unlikely those assets are being used – treated – safeguarded – exploited as effectively as perhaps they could – should be.

Similarly, if any business leader, et al, regardless of reasoning, rationale, experience, or sector, elects to overlook, dismiss, is reluctant to engage, or is unreceptive to bringing objective – accountable clarity to the contributory roles – value adds of intangible assets, i.e.,

  • distinguish – monitor those designated as‘mission essential’ because they underlie specific products, services, brands, and reputations, and serve as sources of revenue.
  • where, when, how, and the various circumstances, initiatives, and transactions which they are in play and contribute to attractivity, competitiveness, revenue generation, valuation, and sustainability.

The leadership of Dr. Seuss Enterprises (quite possibly) recognized the above and chose to ‘hold onto + defend’ the array of intangible assets originally developed by Theodore Seuss Geisel, in today’s predatorily competitive and aggressive business development and transaction global environments.

Business leader efforts – initiatives to unravel, differentiate, and acknowledge why – how competitive advantages arise, valuation increases, revenue is generated, and brands, products, and services are attractive, does not slow down the future, rather positions – benefits the future.

This post relied on various pieces (a.) authored by Sara Fischer, author of Axios Media Trends along with (b.) ‘Dr. Seuss Enterprises Eye Lucrative IP Sale by the Daily Upside, Motley Fool and (c.) The Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal.

The ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ is experientially-researched, written, and produced by Michael D. Moberly, to provide perspectives, insights, and additional and sometimes alternative perspectives to readers, ala business leaders, management teams, boards, and investors, etc., to aid in identifying, distinguishing, assessing, valuing, safeguarding, and lucratively – competitively utilizing -applying their ‘mission essential’ intangible assets. 

Readers are-encouraged to review and comment on this, and other posts wherein arrays of issues related to business things intangible are authentically and practically conveyed.


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