The transition to a more digital society based on the information economy has put tremendous pressure on companies to rethink their intellectual property (IP) management.Intangible assets can Representative More than 80% of the company’s balance sheet value, and US intellectual property is now worth According to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the gross domestic product exceeds 6 trillion U.S. dollars.
Well-managed and fully utilized intellectual property rights can provide companies with a strategic advantage beyond competition-not only in terms of customer acquisition, but also in terms of investors and potential employees. However, these valuable assets present a unique set of challenges for organizations that want to capture the full value of their IP as they expand and mature.
Protecting intellectual property rights is a multifaceted task that requires expertise in law, network security, and the nature of intellectual property rights. Companies need complex and costly security layers designed to protect classified R&D and trade secrets from industrial espionage. Intellectual property that has entered the public domain may be protected by patents, trademarks, and copyright registrations.
Patents and trademarks are the key to protecting the company’s intellectual property assets, but their handling and management is a difficult task. The patent process itself may require filing applications in multiple jurisdictions, but an agreement should be reached with employees to ensure that they are legally obligated to protect company secrets and to stipulate the company’s copyright to the works produced by its employees.
To make matters more complicated, intellectual property may be licensed under a specific agreement between companies, which can be done in two ways. Therefore, a company may own the intellectual property licensed to a partner, but it may also hold another company’s intellectual property license, thereby forming a further written record.
In addition, many companies do not even have a comprehensive system or platform to manage their IP. Documents may be stored in multiple places or owned by different individuals. Then consider the large amount of sensitive and profitable information that may be stored in the company’s systems or software run by external third parties.
If you cannot manage all of these effectively, it may cause unquantifiable losses to the company. From an incident perspective, infringement of copyrights, trademarks, and patents can lead to lengthy and costly litigation, as well as intangible or indirect losses, such as damage to reputation or increased insurance premiums.
However, the lost opportunity cost may be even greater. The success of investment (including company mergers and acquisitions) depends on the effectiveness of the work done in the due diligence phase. At this time, the investor or the acquiring company wants to see all the assets of the target company, including the entire intellectual property portfolio, so that a fair valuation can be made. Failure to prove the fair and accurate value of intellectual property may significantly affect the valuation. In addition, ongoing intellectual property disputes or pending litigation may also have a negative impact on investment.
Proof of ownership through tokenization
Companies can use blockchain to prove their ownership of intellectual property-related assets. Assets are created as tokens on the blockchain, and each token transaction is recorded transparently, chronologically and with its own timestamp. All assets are protected by key encryption, which means that only the owner of the asset can authorize the transaction, and their key is used as proof of ownership.
In fact, any IP asset can be tokenized and assigned to users or groups authorized to conduct transactions such as licensing. In recent years, blockchain technology has also been developed to the point where it can handle complexity, such as different permission levels for documents of different sensitivity.
Transactions on the blockchain are immutable, and assets cannot be copied or destroyed. Therefore, the blockchain is a perfect technology designed for the intellectual property management process.
Large luxury goods companies are already using this technology to help protect intellectual property in their supply chains. French multinational luxury group LMVH and Italian luxury fashion brand Prada In the leading company Aura Blockchain Alliance, the cooperation aims to use the blockchain to profit from the approximately $30 billion lost by counterfeiters in the industry each year.
The platform uses Non-fungible token (NFT), A unique digital asset that accompanies the entire life cycle of designer handbags and other products from the factory to the final buyer. Buyers can view the journey of a product as a series of transactions on the platform, and their NFT is used to verify that their bag is genuine.
A more ambitious move is that blockchain and NFT are also changing the way IP is licensed and sold. For example, IPwe has developed a platform that supports the global patent market, allowing patents to be licensed and traded as tokens on the blockchain. Companies can manage and track IP-related assets and transactions in one place, and license or sell IP with anyone in the world almost instantly and securely. The platform aims to integrate global patent data into its global patent registry and overcome many challenges of the current patent landscape, including geographical silos, heavy document requirements and slow processing times.
Another example is SharpShark, a startup company that uses the Symbol blockchain platform Provide time stamp solution For content creators to protect their intellectual property rights. Custos Media Technologies, a blockchain content protection company, uses similar technology.
These are just a few scenes, but there are more. Summarizing the challenges of intellectual property may best be described as using 20th century tools and processes to manage 21st century assets. They no longer fit the purpose and do not allow companies to get the most value from their IP. In the next few years, companies will begin to rely on technology to overcome the remaining challenges in intellectual property management, protect their assets and unlock the value of losses.
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading action involves risks, and readers should research on their own when making a decision.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are only those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Mr. Manohar Is the CEO and co-founder of CasperLabs. His profession is a computer programmer and financial professional. Prior to founding Casper, Mrinal was the head and technology, media and telecommunications department head of a long-only hedge fund (Sagad Capital) of approximately US$1 billion, a private equity partner of Boston Bain Capital, and Bain & Company’s Assistant Consultant. Since 2012, Mrinal has been investing in the blockchain industry as a seed investor in Ethereum, Blockstack, Basis, Maker, Filecoin, etc.