Most respectfully, as you read the following, please try thinking differently (outside the proverbial box) about why, how, and the circumstances your company…is (fiduciarily) obliged to safeguard its intangible assets, i.e., intellectual, structural, and relationship capital…
1. First-of-all the proverbial ‘means and rules of engagement’ have changed, and will continue to change…the predatorial and legacy free global business intelligence and ‘open source’ data mining operations are often overlooked in terms of executing safeguards and risk mitigation equations.
To effectively safeguard proprietary intangible assets...i.e., assets contributing to company value, competitive advantage, reputation, and generating revenue, etc.,
- practices-procedures must reflect the above global phenomena and their technological sophistication, predatorial elements, and winner-take-all outlook,
- while exercising prudence and caution about which, what, how, and when particular (proprietary) intangible assets are exploited and/or enter the public domain.
2. Initiatives, innovation, and transactions undertaken by globally operating businesses…and their outcomes, are no longer influenced solely by the development of physical-tangible assets, rather by the development, flow, and exploitation of intangible assets.
Business value, sources of revenue, reputation, and competitiveness have literally shifted from…
- collections of physical (tangible) assets to,
- collections of ‘know how’ (intellectual, structural capital)
- which are unique and often collaborative and proprietary commodities
- for which sustaining control, use, ownership, and consistently monitoring their value, materiality, and mitigating risk
- are integral to business’ near-long term success, profitability, and sustainability.
3. It’s important to build…an intangible asset safeguard – risk mitigation organizational ‘culture’ to fit each business mission – type of transaction…
- rather than try to frame each mission – transaction to reflect the safeguard measures that may already be in place!
An often, misunderstood aspect of today’s irreversible dominance of intangible assets to business operability is that…
- conventional computer/IT security does not necessarily equate with intangible asset safeguards and risk mitigation.
- computer/IT security is better recognized as complimenting a comprehensive program for safeguarding intangible assets in whatever context-format they exist – are being exploited, and
- for the duration of their respective value, competitive advantage, and materiality cycles’.
4. Safeguarding a company’s (proprietary) intangible assets is most effective when…practiced proactively and reflects the nanosecond development, flow, and accessibility to the proprietary knowledge and know-how ala intangible assets, which are inevitably in play…
- safeguards should always be on the front end, to sustain control, use, ownership, and monitor asset value, materiality, and fluctuations in same.
5. Think differently about past practices and conventions...e.g., laws associated with intellectual property enforcement, e.g., patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, etc., are largely…
- reactive, not proactive, and
- typically apply after, and if, infringement, misappropriation, counterfeiting has occurred, and has
- come to the attention of the rightful owner (holder).
So, holders of intangible assets and IP are dependent on their ability to be alert to…
- global risks to their business’s intangible assets (which include IP)
- recognizing-monetizing their risk tolerances – thresholds for economic and competitive advantage hemorrhaging (of their intangible assets), and
- their willingness and resources to aggressively pursue wrong doers.
6. Intangible asset safeguards must be flexible and maneuverable…many information asset safeguard regimes, systems, and practices are static and/or one dimensional, e.g.,
- they remain constant throughout the life – value – competitive advantage cycle of the safeguarded assets, and
- do not recognize or accommodate fluctuations in the assets contributory role, value, or materiality.
Business intangible asset safeguards should be forward looking and possess the capability to monitor and make rapid adjustments to changes in an assets’ value, mission relevance, risk, and vulnerability.
7. Avoid ‘pushing the future off the table’…forward-looking offense is the best defense for safeguarding businesses intangible assets.
Each day companies are presented with urgent, near term challenges that create pressures to…push the future off the table, i.e., to address the current risk-challenge. One consequence of which is that…
- disproportionate emphasis may be given to the constant chorus of sources which offer largely speculative, anecdotal, and worst-case scenario snap- shots-in-time perspectives about particular risks to intangibles.
- while the potentially devastating consequences of these pronouncements should not be dismissed, neither should they serve as the sole or necessarily dominant rationale for the design and execution of intangible asset safeguards.
8. Safeguarding businesses proprietary, revenue generating, competitive, and reputational intangible assets, should…also be about
- forging relationships with the assets’ originators, developers, users, and owners because,
- this constitutes the where and how to safeguard (sustain) control, use, ownership and value of every business’s intangible assets lie!
Michael D. Moberly July 10, 2017 St. Louis [email protected] the ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ since May 2006, 650+ published posts, read in 137 countries, ‘where one’s attention span, businesses intangible assets, and solutions converge’!
Readers are invited to explore more blog posts, position papers, video, and books at https://kpstrat.com/blog