Site icon Duncan Bucknell

Hold everything guys isn't IP already clearly understood and important?

Listened to another great podcast today from John Byrne at Business Week.

This time the cover story at Business Week is their annual survey with Interbrand of the global top 100 brands.  We’ve blogged about this before.

So, with all of the noise lately about the difficulties of getting intellectual property into the boardroom and properly communicating value when you get there, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there’s been a glitch in the system.

Coca Cola sells carbonated water and flavouring, their brand is worth nearly 69 billion dollars.  Coca Cola is not a soft drink company, it is a brand management company.  Does anyone seriously think that the board room is not closely watching the management of the IP protecting the brand.

Maybe these guys in the global top 100 are outliers – maybe they are special.  One of the reasons why they are in the top 100 is because they invest heavily in their brands.  Maybe that means we’re talking in circles here. 

Isn’t it supposed to be the world’s best practices (in any field) that other companies should be trying to emulate?  If that’s right, shouldn’t the success of these companies be a guiding light to others about how to invest in and manage their intellectual property?  Shouldn’t that be enough (or at least a very good start)?

Perhaps what we’re really talking about here is a general lack of discussion about intellectual property in the broader business community, rather than a complete absence of IP in the boardroom.

Interestingly, a global search for ‘intellectual property’ in all Harvard Business Review articles revealed 16 articles in the past 12 months.  (Some of these only refer to intellectual property in passing and only once in the article.)

Maybe the focus should be on getting intellectual property more widely discussed, as a discipline from which to create opportunity, like sales, marketing, finance and so on, not a legal problem.


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