Maurice Ross, an experienced IP and commercial litigation attorney, a partner in Barton, Barton & Plotkin, LLP, sat down for an interview shown on LegalMinds.
Mr. Ross starts off by describing what he calls a real “disconnect” between IP value and stock price. Often they don’t reflect each other, and that presents a problem for corporate decision makers trying to attract investors, dealing with disclosure issues, certifying financial reporting, evaluating acquisition candidates, etc.
The interview gives a good perspective on the extent IP due diligence must be performed, but more importantly to valuation analysts (a reference to whom is never offered in the interview), practice development opportunities keeping popping up. When talking with a key referring attorney, analysts can discuss and empathize with counsel having to deal with financial reporting, due diligence in M&A situations, the difference between the balance sheet assets and total assets, evaluating whether or not a company has installed the requisite protections to define their trade secrets, recent court decisions that have served to muddy the patent waters, etc.
For example, when in the course of a valuation engagement, an analyst asks about companies in the competitive sphere who own or could purchase IP that could put the client company out of business, it’s a question also on the list of IP counsel. The analyst and IP counsel are on the same page in their joint goal to provide information that will serve the CEO, Board of Directors and senior managers of a company, and the analyst is well served to understand how the information provided assists counsel in protecting that client.
What does Mr. Ross see as the next IP frontier? Interestingly, as did BVR in last year's release of Royalty Rates in Trademarks and Copyrights, based on what he senses in the firms he represents, he sees an uptick in locating, distinguishing, and protecting copyrights.