asset management

IP Asset Management

How much value is there waiting to be unlocked from dormant rights?

In a business world where boards of directors continuously strive to generate shareholder value, is it acceptable to hoard dormant IP assets because doing nothing with them is seen as the safest option when, in reality, it’s just the easiest one.

Many of our clients have portfolios of rights combining Trade Marks, designs, copyright, domain names and patents. Some of these will be assets that are actively used whilst others will be assets considered valuable enough to retain, even if they are not currently in use. In the middle will be a grey area – historic rights, old brands, new product concepts that never made it – initiatives that did not proceed; what we call dormant intellectual assets. And here we believe is a massively under-recognised opportunity.

How much easier might it be for someone looking to create a portfolio of relevant protection to acquire or license dormant intellectual assets from a sector that is not directly competitive? The current constant to and fro, often in foreshortened timescales, of creating a name only to find it insufficiently protectable, or even worse unavailable at all, is rendered unnecessary if, in one fell swoop, a ready-made portfolio of assets is already available to acquire or license.

A value realisation example would be a company seeking to re-brand itself at a corporate level could be interested in acquiring an off-the-shelf solution from a company that has already gone through that exercise and, in the process, done the groundwork on alternatives that it ultimately rejected. It is also feasible that the company with the dormant asset might be willing to sell it since it almost certainly has no strategic use for it and it is, to all intents and purposes, a wasting asset. These IP assets would be particularly valuable when the marks, or marks, are bundled with high-level domain names.

It is against this background that Nucleus IP, together with our parent company, brand consultants Nucleus, have launched an IP Asset Management Service to promote IP value realisation and trading services and promote a holistic view of the intellectual property life-cycle and the competitive dynamic in which it operates.