The most common words that are conjured up in people's minds alongside Intellectual Property, or IP, are patents and protection. To most people, IP = how you protect your invention.
This is a notion that needs to be disabused. In the 21st century, a more important association with IP ought to be ‘value’.
Back in 1997, Marvel Comics, the purveyor of superhero comics, went bankrupt with debts of over $400 million. The ensuing turnaround has become a classic example of repositioning drained, unorganised and diluted IP rights. The owners recognised where the real value lay in the assets and grew this central nugget of the organisation with a long term IP strategy. Marvel has leveraged the value of its superhero characters through a series of highly profitable licensing deals. In 2009, Walt Disney bought the business - essentially the rights to the back catalogue - for an astonishing $4 billion.
This practice, which was established over 40 years ago, is available for sale due to the impending retirement of the practitioner.
This practice, which was established in the 1980s, is available for sale due to the impending retirement of the partners.
This practice, which was established around 2003, is available for purchase due to the impending retirement of the partners.
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