Intellectual Asset Management
The chapter deals with a key task in media and digital organizations: how companies create, protect and manage intellectual assets. Different assets are discussed: trade secrets, contract-created rights, patents, trademarks and copyrights. We learn how to get a patent, the frontiers of patents and how to deal with patent infringements. For copyrights, issues covered are what can be copyrighted, international copyright protections and “fair use.” The next section deals with the commercialization of intellectual assets: how to value intellectual assets and how to license them. The final section deals with the challenges of piracy, and the various protection strategies of law, technology and business responses. Reform proposals and new approaches such as open source are discussed. Throughout the chapter, the case discussion tracks General Electric’s intellectual assets and how much of General Electric’s value and profits are based on them.