Thursday, August 06, 2009

Where Credit is Due

In a tight credit market companies can no longer afford to keep their strengths to themselves. Maximizing value requires revealing more, not less.

Intangible assets like patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets comprise at least 50% of the S&P 500 market value. Yet many businesses are clueless about how to promote them.

Bruce Berman is CEO of Brody Berman Associates, a firm that for more than 20 years has been focusing on helping companies, executives and investors convey their intellectual rights. I asked Bruce, who has produced four books on IP and business, about new opportunities for greater understanding.

“Companies that utilize communication skills to disclose the assets in their patent portfolio, and how they monetize them, are in a better position to increase profitability, enhance their reputation and access capital markets. They also are more likely to impress stakeholders, such as customers and the supply chain.

“Like shares of stock the value of IP often are in the eye of the beholder,” continues Berman. “Shaping perceptions is integral to success. IP communications turns positive stakeholder awareness into competitive advantage. It also minimizes the risk that regulators will require more disclosure. Intangible assets are poorly understood in the c-suite and on Wall Street.

“Businesses are learning there is more risk associated with hiding IP performance than in revealing some of it,” concludes Berman. “Companies already proven successful in IP communications include IBM, Qualcomm, HP, Microsoft and Philips. Intel Inside® is an example of employing managed disclosure to establish a worldwide technology brand, the Pentium® processor.”

The timing is excellent for companies to recognize and share their hidden value. Executives who step up and disclose wisely can score a win for their company and stakeholders alike.

Technorati Tags: Makovsky + Company, patents, trademarks, copyrights, Bruce Berman, Qualcomm, IP communications, microsoft, Brody Berman Associates, business, public relations


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