Mitigating Theft of Intellectual Property, Avoid Playing Catch-Up…

Michael D. Moberly

Business Intangible Asset Strategist & Risk Specialist

     My counsel to every entity engaged in research and development (be it conducted in the U.S. or elsewhere) commences with bringing clarity to…

  1. sustaining proprietary status of same is central to achieving a desired (obliged – expected) economic – competitive advantage outcome, and
  2. doing so necessitates recognition of particular – risks + fiduciary obligations to mitigate and safeguard same.

     Respectfully, not-so-obvious to some, both-of-the-above are (fiduciarily) obliged to commence with (a.) idea origination and continue through (b.) development, testing, (c.) relevant trials and reviews, and (d.) production + marketing initiatives, and (e.) public – consumer unveiling.

     Too, I am obliged to ensure operational clarity (for entrepreneurs, researchers, their leadership, and investors-sponsors) insofar as prudent – objective framing (a.) how the various research processes, and (b.) desired outcomes, will (c.) attract varying levels of external interest + monitoring (globally), irrespective of, (d.)  who the initial sponsors – investors may be, or (e.) where the research is initially being conducted

     For example, interest in + monitoring of research and potential outcomes of same, can emerge genuinely and legitimately from sector competitors relative to assessing potential for (future – business) collaboration and/or alliance.

     Not wholly dissimilarly, external interest in + monitoring of competitors R&D may also emerge with less far less legitimate intentions, i.e., from global economic – competitive advantage adversaries and/or third-party (private, corporate, government sponsored) competitive – business intelligence (gathering – collection) operations. Such monitoring is not infrequently, a prelude to further targeting and monitoring of specific intangible assets, i.e., access to and possible attempts to misappropriate and/or infringe.

     Irrespective of the motives for (competitor) interest, there should be no doubt, it is in the interests of businesses globally, to avoid being wholly unfamiliar, i.e., blind-sided by the introduction – application of sector relevant research which produces economic – competitor advantages, and then endeavoring to hurriedly engage in ‘catch up’. 

     The significance of avoiding ‘catch-up’, lies with the economics of growing percentages of business development, sustainability, value, revenue generation, and competitiveness emerge from environments which are…

  • intangible asset intensive and dependent…businesses wishing to compete in these environments necessitate 24/7/356 awareness + receptivity to regular infusions of intellectual, structural, and relationship capital, i.e., business things intangible.

     Variously complicating these realities, is another reality, i.e., growing percentages of R&D activities + business operations, in general, are variously intertwined, probably globally. Not infrequently, this reality renders business leadership and management to be more receptive to engaging in predatorial activities, if for no other reason, to avoid being ‘blind-sided’ by economic – competitive advantages developed for and/or executed by competitors.


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