Over the last two decades, our experience with IP has shown us that individual pieces of intellectual property do not travel or perform to maximum advantage on their own. They typically have accompanying elements and flanker assets that enhance the effectiveness and reach of the asset. For example, a trademark is often associated with other elements, such as trade dress, a slogan, logo devices and marketing devices. Similarly, a single patent is often accompanied by flanker patents, technical know-how, technical drawings, designs, and proprietary technology.
Asset inventory and triage is a critical step to building an effective strategy for leveraging IP and intangible assets. Because every company is different and each situation and context is unique, the bundling process should be undertaken whenever intangible asset identification, valuation, and disposition are being considered. Key bundles of intangible assets will vary from company to company and from year to year — and even within established bundles, individual intangible assets can change in value as they move from one bundle to another — making expert analysis a critically important step to evaluating and maximizing the value of an individual asset, group of assets, or comprehensive IP portfolio.
It is important to note that though assets do travel together, it does not mean that they cannot be isolated for valuation. Rather, our point is that to best establish true market value, whether for business, legal, tax, accounting or financial reasons, similar intangible assets that work and support each other should be valued together. This concept, the “bundling” of assets is one that we both pioneered and have refined over the years.