More than 70 % of corporate value today lies in the form of intangible assets, much of which are in the form of patents, copyrights and trademarks. Notwithstanding this fact, many otherwise sophisticated CEO’s and corporate managers essentially leave a significant portion of firm value on the table by failing to develop and execute on a business strategy directed to capturing and maximizing this class of assets.
Of course, few organizations would admit that management fails to fully realize the asset that forms the bulk of today’s corporate value. Many managers also may not believe they have the requisite knowlede to determine whether their company’s intellectual assets are being properly exploited. Fortunately, it can be fairly easy to discern whether a company’s management expends the effort necessary to capture and maximize its intellectual assets. Put simply, if an organization’s top business leadership does not possess an engaged knowledge of their company’s short and long term intellectual property strategy, one can directly infer that the company is leaving significant intellectual asset value on the table.
What do I mean by “engaged knowledge” of a company’s intellectual property? The following quiz should shed light on this critical aspect of strategic business management today.
Assume that as the CEO of a Fortune 1000 company, you are called upon to participate in an interview with a business magazine reporter. The article will be widely read by the investment community for insights as to whether your company is a good long term invesment. The reporter includes your company’s intellectual property strategy as a list of topics about which she may inquire. To prepare for these questions regarding your company’s intellectual property do you:
- A. Call your intellectual property counsel to give you an overview of the status of your company’s intellectual property; or
- B. Nothing. As CEO it is your responsibility to formulate and oversee your company’s intellectual property operations at a strategic level. You are therefore capable of and comfortable with discussing your company’s intellectual property strategy in the interview.
If you selected choice B, you likely already possess engaged knowledge of your company’s intellectual assets. If you selected choice A, your company may have room for improvement to more competently realize its intellectual assets. Moreover, to successfully do so, you need to make changes to the way you interact with your company’s intellectual property.