Michael D. Moberly March 5, 2009
Context – Today, 65+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, future wealth creation and sustainability lie in – are directly linked to intangible assets and intellectual property, e.g., brand, reputation, image, goodwill, competitive advantages, etc. Collectively, this ‘economic fact – business reality’ elevates exposure (vulnerability) of intangibles and IP to an ever increasing array of risk – threats, that, when they materialize, will assuredly and adversely affect the terms and risks related to transactions and deals in which those assets are in play. It’s essential for business decision makers to recognize that in a growing percentage of transactions (deals) those assets, e.g., intangibles, IP, competitive advantages, know how, etc., are literally integral to a deal outcome and require a higher degree of specialization – expertise, well beyond the conventional, in order to enage those assets in a comprehensive and critical due diligence process.
Intangible asset and IP protection specialists are, in many respects, similar to (Wall Street) industry sector stock analysts that monitor – assess relevant-key variables, e.g., trends, events, cycles, human/intellectual capital, innovation pipelines, and a host of other factors (variables) that, in their judgment, may favorably – adversely impact the (near – long term) stability, sustainability, and/or fragility of a company’s stock, market position, management team, strategic planning, and ultimately, shareholder value.
The ultimate goal of intangible asset and IP protection specialists is to be consistently invited to the ‘decision table’ before business transaction decisions are finalized and/or the execution commences. Once ‘at the table’, the specialist has a responsibility to:
1. objectively and consisely convey the findings of the due diligence – risk assessment of the (prioritized) assets most relevant to the deal/transaction…
2. objectively assess the risks/vulnerabilities and offer recommendations for mitigation relative to ensuring control, use, ownership, and value (of those assets) are not impaired, devalued, undermined, or further put at risk in ways that can stifle a deals’ momentum and/or undermine the projected value, competitive advantages, and synergies, etc.
3. articulate sound, practical, and business oriented contributions that facilitate – enable more secure, stable, and profitable transactions!