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Protecting the Intellectual Assets of an Organization

Protecting the Intellectual Assets of an Organization

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Published by Sam Boustani
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the processes for identifying, measuring, managing and protecting intellectual assets to sustain their value to the organization and its stakeholders. It is intended for senior management whose organization depends on essential intellectual assets.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the processes for identifying, measuring, managing and protecting intellectual assets to sustain their value to the organization and its stakeholders. It is intended for senior management whose organization depends on essential intellectual assets.

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Published by: Sam Boustani on Jun 24, 2008
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12/06/2010

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BoustaniProtecting the Intellectual Assets of an OrganizationWassim BoustaniBusiness Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery (SMT-274604; Fall 2006)SUNY Empire State CollegeProfessor V. Friedman22 December 20061
 
BoustaniProtecting the Intellectual Assets of an OrganizationAbstractThe purpose of this paper is to discuss the processes for identifying, measuring,managing and protecting intellectual assets to sustain their value to the organization andits stakeholders. It is intended for senior management whose organization depends onessential intellectual assets.IntroductionIntellectual assets are intangibles that stem from innovation; an organization’sfuture earning potential depends on exploiting these assets. These include patents,trademarks, brands, corporate identity and logos, proprietary designs, ideas, know-how,copyrights, trade secrets, and organizational reputation. This paper will describe how toidentify the organization’s intangible intellectual assets, how to strategically prioritizethem, and how to safeguard them. A business must protect intellectual assets to achievetheir maximum commercial value.Exposition
Defining Intellectual Assets
An audit can be conducted to identify the intellectual assets owned by thecompany in order to obtain the best protection for them. The process usually involves aquestionnaire or forms that are completed by employees, who mostly include those thatcreate or manage intellectual property. Audit forms can include specific instructions for sales and marketing; human resources; contracts and administrative; graphics, production, and information services; research, engineering, and development; andgeneral instructions for all other departments. Legal counsel can then review the results2
 
Boustanito further assess the protection requirements. Most companies will appoint an auditofficer that oversees the project, maintains an updated list of intellectual property, and performs regular audits as needed. Audits are especially important when selling acompany, since the buyer will want to know what intellectual property s/he is receiving,and outstanding infringements. Intellectual asset portfolios can also be used as collateralto secure bank loans, can be given to other organizations as tax deductible donations, andare often required by shareholders (Bouchoux, 2001).Businesses use trademarks to identify products and services, as well as providequality and consistency assurances to consumers. Trademarks can include any word,name, symbol, or device used to distinguish one’s product from others, while indicatingthe source. A trademark can protect words, numbers and letters, designs, fragrances,sounds, shapes, color, moving images, and trade dress. Exclusions from trademark  protection include immoral or scandalous matter, deceptive matter, disparaging matter,government insignia, names, portraits and signatures, merely descriptive marks,geographic terms, surnames, functional marks, confusingly similar marks, and statutorily protected marks. The careful selection of a trademark is important and usually includes participants from sales, marketing, and the legal department (Bouchoux, 2001).In the United States, the right to a trademark arises from the use of the mark. Theuse of a mark in interstate commerce is required before registering it with the Patent andTrademark Office (PTO), although state registration is acceptable for intrastatecommerce. The benefits of federal registration include priority for use of the mark, theright to legal action for infringement, the right to use the trademark registration symbol(
®
), and the right to stop imports of infringing goods to the United States. Those with a3

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