Six Ways Intangible Assets Become Entangled In Costly and Time Consuming Disputes…

Michael D. Moberly    June 2, 2009

Business risk-threat-vulnerability equations have changed from merely being subjective prognostictions to inevitabilities when left unrecognized, unchecked, or ineffectively managed.  Consequently, there are, at minimum, six ways in which a company’s valuable intangible assets (i.e., IP, proprietary know how, competitive advantages, etc.) become entangled – ensnared in time consuming and costly legal disputes and challenges.  Typically, it’s a consequence and/or combination of:

1. Misplaced trust in business partners, research collaborators, and/or management team members…

2. Operational or procedural miscues that uneccessarily create – elevate the vulnerability of key assets to compromise, i.e., misappropriation, infringement, theft, etc.

3. Ineffective – inconsistent stewardship, management, and oversight of the underlying drivers’ of asset value and competitive advantage…

4. Unethical or illegal conduct of employees, contractors, vendors, etc., that trigger – facilitate asset compromises and undermine competitive advantages…

5. Management team assumptions that conventional IP (patents, trademarks, copyrights) constitute stand alone deterrents to infringement, misappropriation, and ultimately (product) counterfeiting…

6. Disregard for the speed which asset value and competitive advantages can be compromised and irreversably unermined…

In today’s hyper-competitive, globally predatorial, and winner-take-all business transaction environments, dismissing or characterizing any one of the persistent challenges above as merely constituting ‘another risk of doing business’ will, with increasing surety, lay a foundation for (a.) outright failure, and/or (b.) asset under-performance. 



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