As the U.S. economy begins to switch from an industrial model to a knowledge-based one, business owners must adapt their traditional means for conveying the value of their assets. Intellectual property (“IP”) is an intangible asset often overlooked by investors in assessing the value of a business, because companies fail to provide a useful metric for its value. IP branding is a business strategy that educates potential investors, licensees, and even competitors about the quantifiable worth of a company’s intangible assets, such as patents and trademarks. Although branding has historically functioned in the traditional trademark sense to identify tangible products and services and to distinguish them from competitors, thereby giving the owner of the brand market power, it applies equally to other forms of IP. In a nutshell, the value of a firm or business is equal to not only the inherent value of its IP, but also the value added from the successful branding of a company’s intangible assets. This article presents four key steps, with a focus on patents and trademarks, toward adding an IP branding strategy to an existing business model.

Step One: Identify and Protect IP Assets

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