Today, it may be intangibles are a company’s most important assets. BVR’s study of purchase price allocations puts intangible assets at 72% of acquired companies’ total assets. These assets do not exist risk free.
Essentially, there are two issues:
- A competitor might take your ideas – your competitive advantage;
- A competitor might accuse you of taking their ideas, their competitive advantage.
Consider these additional developments:
- “Non-practicing entities” – or “trolls” – are now major risk factors;
- Opportunity costs, use of executive time, may double the actual expense of an IP dispute;
- The Uniform Commercial Code, 2-312(3), includes an implied warranty against infringement by any seller of goods to their buyers. If you are selling a product, you are taking on the responsibility to indemnify should accusations of infringement arise.