Intangible Assets: Can Become Entangled In Costly And Time Consuming Disputes And Challenges

Michael D. Moberly    April 17, 2012

Business risk vulnerability-probability equations have changed from merely being subjective prognostications to inevitabilities particularly when we’re talking about companies intangible assets that have gone unrecognized, unchecked, or ineffectively managed.

Based on my own experiences, there are, at minimum, six ways in which a company’s most valuable assets, i.e., intangibles, become, with increasing frequency, entangled and/or ensnared in costly, time consuming, and sometimes irreversible legal disputes and challenges.  Particular intangible assets I’m referring to include proprietary know how, intellectual, relationship, and structural capital, some categories of intellectual property and other intangibles that underlie and contribute to building – sustaining company and asset value and competitive advantages.

Typically, when know how-based intangibles become involved in disputes and/or challenges it’s a consequence and/or combination of…

  1. Misplaced and/or a violated trust among business partners, research collaborators, and/or management team members.
  2. Asset safeguard miscues that unnecessarily create – elevate the vulnerability of intangibles to compromise, misappropriation, or, theft.
  3. The absence, ineffectiveness, and/or inconsistency in the management and oversight of a company’s intangibles insofar as they constitute the dominant drivers’ of company value, revenue, and competitive advantage.
  4. Unethical or illegal conduct of personnel, contractors, and/or vendors most anywhere in the supply – value chain that triggers – facilitates asset compromises and undermining competitive advantages…
  5. Assumptions held by management teams and counsel that conventional IP, i.e., patents, trademarks, and copyrights, etc., are sufficient standalone deterrents to infringement, misappropriation, and product – service counterfeiting …
  6. Disregard and/or being dismissive about the speed which asset value and competitive advantages can be compromised and irreversibly undermined…

In today’s globally competitive and predatorial business environment intangible assets are routinely in play and therefore integral to most every deal.  Dismissing any of the above  challenges as merely constituting additional risks of doing business in the knowledge era will also, with increasing surety, lay a foundation for outright deal failure and/or asset under-performance.

While visiting  my blog, you are respectfully encouraged to browse other topics/subjects (left column, below photograph) .  Should you find particular topics of interest or relevant to your circumstance,  I would welcome your inquiry at  314-440-3593 or [email protected]



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