Manage IP for Greater Value

Late last year Michael Moberly, one of the IP-value arena’s thought leaders, wrote about management responsibility when it comes to creating and stewarding an organization’s IP value. He suggested almost every company has IP assets, and most of those assets would deliver some easy-to-ascertain value (revenue, competitive advantage, etc.) without much management intervention. It would stand to reason that management focus, then would serve to increase that value, right? So what’s the challenge? Why is it difficult to get management to seriously attend to IP, its identification, unbundling, protection and security, and exploitation?

Key to the problem, as has often been stated here, is that the higher one goes in management, the more one’s decisions are driven by the balance sheet, a financial statement that simply does not reflect true IP value. Though Mr. Moberly concedes he is running into some enlightened senior managers who realize the future is IP, that on the average 65-70% of a current organization’s assets are intangibles, most are slaves to financial statements, and “The chasm in this sense, again, represents the economic fact that the real sources and drivers of most company’s value and revenue today lie in (intangible) assets that seldom, if ever, get reported – accounted for on those conventional financial statements other than in the form of the all-inclusive ‘goodwill’!”

Mr. Moberly inserts into his analyses a sense of urgency, suggesting to wait (in terms of managing IP assets) is to doom a company to forever lag behind. BVR is currently working on a tool that will help companies and non-profits alike navigate what internally we are calling the IP (decision) tree, an IP identification-through-exploitation continuum of management organization and process help, designed to help organizations with this significant if not critical management task. We’ll have more later on our progress.