The importance of Intellectual Property (IP) has increased significantly in the past 20 years. The technology boom of the late 1990s showed the world that packaged IP was often worth more than the products that contained it. IP moved from the back office to the corner office.
Business processes were changed to enable IP caretakers to work more closely with IP creators. The workforce was educated to give everyone a better understanding and appreciation. File folders and spreadsheets were replaced with IP management systems. More active selling, licensing, and bartering of IP spawned new service industries to facilitate IP transactions. The table was now set for many new performance measures.
Historical IP Metrics: For decades, IP metrics were simple and focused on inventory and costs. Patents were always expensive, as were the processes to protect Trade Secrets. CFOs managed IP assets as expenses, trying to minimize the cost. Companies had the same metrics, portrayed in the same way: patent disclosures, patents filed/pending/granted/rejected/maintained/abandoned, and the costs thereof. The Trade Secret metric was “number of trade secrets.” This analysis is simplified to make the point. Today’s situation couldn’t be more different.