Intellectual Property, An Asset to its Owners

January 27, 2012
Intellectual Property, An Asset to its Owners

It is well known that companies invest in technological development and the result is inventions subject toprotection by the Intellectual Property Law. Consequently, they have a competitive advantage as a result of the exclusive right to use such inventions. In the same manner, those companies that develop and properly registerdistinctive marks or symbols are at a significant advantage, especially when such are highly regarded byconsumers. Furthermore, those with copyrights also obtain legal competitive advantages. However, on manyoccasions, in an accounting context, the true value of intellectual property rights is not recognized. On occasion,the value of intellectual property rights can be greater than that of all other assets of the company. Knowing andadequately determining the value of intellectual property rights is important, especially when intending to carryout a sale, purchase, merger or divestiture of a company, or when intending to use such as a security. Mexicanlaw contemplates the possibility that intellectual property rights may be subject to attachment or that they may begranted as guaranties for loans, thus allowing companies to obtain credit by guarantying payment with theserights, as is customary in other parts of the world (in a well known case, David Bowie obtained a multi-milliondollar credit line guaranteed by the payment of royalties to be generated by his music). In the same manner, manyforeign companies that do not have any assets in Mexico, but have registered intellectual property rights, arealways subject to attachment of these rights (at least as to their use in Mexico). Once again, this bears on theimportance for owners of these rights to always be aware of the value of their assets, including those of anintellectual property nature.

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