These days corporate restructuring, cooperation of business and technology is becoming more frequent. Understanding the many viewpoints of the trends of competitive business and societal needs, and having to base a management strategy on complicated factors to increase superiority is difficult. For situations like this, application of intangible assets* as a source of competitiveness is an effective management tool. In actuality, out of the managerial assets that are generally named intangible assets are the fourth, in addition to the tangible assets ( goods and money) appropriated on financial statements, people although not included in financial statements tend to be regarded as an important intangible asset.
For example, if enough products and services are available, it becomes difficult to distinguish the product itself from that of other companies. To plan distinctiveness, ideas that cannot be obviously seen and value-added are devised. This provided for a great variety, thus it is possible to distinguish goods and services. Knowledge and information being the source of the added value is the intangible asset. Especially within the realm of intangible assets, the creation of intellectual property, applied management of IP rights under the legal system, prove to be effective skills when businesses compete for superiority.
At our firm, for our clients who manage their own IP, we provide a basis for IP management, advise and support IP from the side while working with the client to achieve their IP management goals.
＊Intangible assets meaning, intellectual property (patents, trademarks and etc.), human resources, organizational ability, trade names, technology, brands, including confidential information can be deemed as intellectual assets.
At our firm, in order to satisfy the needs of our clients we of course provide cordial and polite consultation, while working our hardest to create a strong relationship of trust through communication and services we provide. In order to find a resolution for the worries of our clients, such as those listed below, by discovering the important essential issue and giving advice, a plan for the fixation of IP management can be made.
- Aware of the major importance of IP management, but aren’t sure what to do
- Uneasy that your company’s IP strategy is functioning well
- Want to use IP to the maximum, and increase the strength of IP
- Incurred the cost of IP, but not sure of its competitiveness
- A former employee took the list of clients with them
- Can’t assume the risks.
Intellectual assets and intellectual management are, when understood and used effectively in business, skills to achieve the goal of profit making. Under the intellectual property legal system, law is an incentive to urge technology reform. The creative articles devised from technology reform, can achieve competitive superiority and planned differentiation with the products of other companies due to lawful protection. Namely, the unified function of law supporting technology reform and this (effectiveness of law), when the cycle of IP creation, protection and use gains circulation speed, it can give way to large profits.
Also, with the realization of IP management 1. set forth unified principles of business and IP management philosophy, 2. work planning stage, 3. concept creation stage, 4. product and technology development stage, 5. acquisition and legal protection of rights stage, 6. product commercialization stage, in each stage, with the understanding of the importance of IP consistently in the background, it is necessary to have a reciprocal systematically connected structured system.
Furthermore, by disclosing the results/current conditions in the IP asset report, interested related parties such as shareholders can view it and the appeal of your companies IP abilities, visibility of IP and business worth can be realized.
The importance of IP
For example, let us think in the case of Company A. If a new product idea to be sold in the future is suggested, the R&D for the commercialization of the product begins. Company A is thinking that the new product will bring in a lot of profit. However, since the knowledge of IP at Company A is lacking, they did not apply for a patent application. What will happen?
First, Company A will not make as much profit as expected. This is because as a result, the technology concerned can be used freely by competing companies, and Company A would lose the opportunity to gain exclusive profits and licenses that would have possibly come from the patent. In addition, since other companies are permitted to enter the market, the time and money spent on product/technology research and development is wasted and it becomes difficult to get a return on invested capital.
Compliance is also indispensable from the viewpoint of IP
Company B, having surveyed and analyzed the market begins to sell products. But, because they did not research other companies’ patents, what happens if there is a chance they didn’t notice the technology included in their products infringes on other companies patent rights?
In this case, unsurprisingly the patent right holder would sue Company B for damages. It is also certain Company B wouldn’t receive any profits. The situation is more serious for company A with regard to business because the issue of not being able to develop trust and management conditions is a danger.
Like the above, it is quite possible to infringe on the IP rights of other companies without realizing if you aren’t familiar enough with IP.