Put the house in order by tracking and leveraging scattered IP assets, says Eileen McMahon in National Post

December 10, 2008

Companies that maintain growth in tough times without sacrificing core value are likely to emerge from the recession in better shape than ever before.

Lawyers say that a good place to look for value is within the company—at the patents, designs, trademarks and copyrighted material.

In good times, companies with cross-border interests are likely to lose track of IP assets written in different languages and tailored to different jurisdictions. Eileen McMahon advises companies to split scattered assets into three baskets:

    • core assets that have a "direct impact on market exclusivity" that generate sales and licensing opportunities in new markets
    • "nice to have" assets that run up hefty maintenance bills year-on-year without bringing in top-line revenues—companies should set deadlines for these to start making money, and sell them in cases where they lie dormant
    • dead woodhowever, one company's dead wood could be another company's money-spinner

With the house back in order, companies can start tracking and leveraging their assets systematically, and enforcing IP rights judiciously abroad to help generate extra revenue.


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