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Unfortunately, it is very common for most intellectual property owners, no matter what their size, to take a haphazard approach to managing IP assets. As a result, the decision whether or not to seek protection for an asset is often an afterthought and may even happen after the product development cycle is well underway. Another risk is that the IP asset will not be assessed as part of a larger strategy, but instead protected out of a vague sense that it is valuable.