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BTG plc has a simple enough mission statement – to find, develop and
commercialise emerging technologies in the life and physical sciences. Getting
the financial markets to understand just what it means to be perhaps the
world’s only full-service IP-commercialisation operation, however, can be a tough
Intangible assets frequently make-up well over 50% of company value, yet there
is no widely accepted method for expressing them on company balance sheets
or in statutory accounts. Baruch Lev, one of the world’s leading authorities on
intangible accounting, believes this has to change but concedes that for it to
happen there are some formidable barriers to overcome.
As a proactive business tool, a company can use its IP not only to increase
profits in its traditional areas of product development, but also to foray into
non-traditional markets and to build stronger relationships with buyers and
It is tough trying to spread the IP message in Europe when too many company
executives, investors, and even patent lawyers and attorneys, do not see its
full potential. Just ask a man who has been trying for the last three years.
Organisations in Germany are beginning to recognise the value of their dormant
intellectual property and put it to use. This represents an enormous opportunity
for experienced venture capital firms.
It is not enough to decide that a company needs to manage and commercialise its IP assets more effectively. Senior management also has to understand that
it has a key role to play if any plan is to be a success.
The European Commission and the US’s Federal Trade
Commission have both issued consultation documents
outlining their views on intellectual property in several
key areas. Rights owners have reacted with dismay
A war of words has erupted between
branded pharma companies and their
generic rivals in Europe. Neither group,
however, seems to be prepared to talk
about the bottom line
A recent meeting of the Licensing
Executives Society was told that the US’s
lead in technology is not guaranteed. Top
venture capitalist John Denniston
believes there could be a serious threat
from Europe and Asia
Early preparation for a thorough
IP due diligence has the
potential to save companies a
great deal of time and money
further down the line
It does not only take good
directors and officers to ensure
a company’s IP portfolio is run to
the benefit of its investors.
Shareholders themselves must
also take a keen interest
Hold a property developer to
ransom with a piece of land
blocking a major building
scheme and you are called a
shrewd businessman. Demand a
licence fee to use a patent
covering key technology and you
are branded a villain.