North Carolina business owners know that, historically, businesses developed their companies in three different ways. First, they used some type of strength from animals or people. Second, they used tangible items, such as buildings and products. Third, they relied on intangible items or intellectual property. While there have been plenty of lawsuits and battles over muscle power and property, business ligation over intellectual property can move into a gray area.
In the past, most businesses calculated their assets by looking at their horsepower or manpower and their inventory. A company with both seemed to have the greatest influence in the marketplace. However, one intellectual property expert reported that the dynamic was shifting to move to an increase of intangible assets. At the end of the 1970s, companies showed average assets with 80 percent tangible assets and 20 percent intangible. That balance had nearly flipped three decades later, so that in 1997, 73 percent of assets were intangible while 27 percent were tangible.
For small companies, that means that big businesses no longer hold the balance of power that they formerly had, especially when it comes to IP. Businesses need to take advantage of intangible assets in the global marketplace or risk falling behind their competitors. With digital technology increasing and the world shrinking, the value of intangible assets is a more powerful force than ever for companies. A small business should also think about a specific IP strategy for their company in order to remain competitive.
When a company needs to file business litigation related to intellectual property, the waters can be murky. A business litigation attorney might be able to help clients effectively protect their assets of intellectual property.
Source: Forbes, “What Does Your Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy Look Like?“, Jim Blasingame, July 15, 2013