Protecting Intangible Assets The New Rules of Engagement!

Michael D. Moberly   December 17, 2009

In this knowledge-based economy, two significant phenomena have emerged which individually and collectively exacerbate the challenges, and add complexity, to our respective campaigns to more effectively protect proprietary information, competitive advantages, intellectual property, and other increasingly relevant and valuable intangible assets, i.e.,

1. the global interaction between economics, intangible assets, technologies, and the persistent demand for growth in company ‘bottom lines’ and country GDP and trade.

2.  the reality that the business (transaction, innovation) landscape is no longer shaped solely by the flow of physical goods and services, rather by the development and flow (buying, selling, trading, merging, exchanging, etc.) of intangible assets. 

These realities, or ‘the new rules of engagement’ foster many new and asymmeric challenges to safeguarding those assets, e.g., (a.) ensuring they remain intact and/or bundled for the most effective, efficient, and profitable use, (b.) their value is sustained to produce/deliver sources of revenue, sustainability, and future wealth creation, and (c.) the control, use, and ownership of those assets remain indeterminately with the rightful holders/owners!

For starters, initiatives – action plans designed to safeguard intangible assets should be flexible and maneuverable, not one dimensional, nor static. That is, intangible asset safeguards should focus on sustaining control, use, and ownership of those assets relative to (a.) their respective life-value-function cycles, and (b.) their continued materialiy, i.e., relevance, linkage, contribution to current/future projects, competitive advantages, and company value.

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