U.S.P.T.O. states that there were more patents granted in 2011 than at any time since 1963. Trademark and copyright activity has been similarly on the rise. Andrea Gonzalez, CPA at Cendrowski Corporate Advisors, is concerned small businesses may get caught up in the wash.
In an interview with Small Business, Gonzalez gave several reasons why small businesses should take the time and effort to identify its own intellectual property:
- Identifying the full IP portfolio allows business owners to determine the development stage of in-process IP, including the ongoing cost of its development. This provides necessary data inputs to the company’s budget process, go/no-go decisions, etc.
- Once a business knows what it has, it can assess and critically review the IP’s continuing value to the company, taking into account licensing or sales opportunities;
- Knowing the extent of the IP it owns allows a business to make fully informed decisions as to what it needs to acquire, through licensing or purchase;
- Understanding the full complement of IP and its value can make the company more attractive to suitors and help any buyer comply with financial reporting requirements; and
- Without understanding what a business owns it would be impossible to effectively monitor for potential misappropriation or infringement of its IP.