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Intellectual Property

A dire title, but is your company at risk?
A company's most valuable asset is knowledge. Knowledge is the sum of informational, conceptual and skill learning. The legal term for information is "intellectual property". When one company purchases another, it is to gain their assets. The physical assets, the buildings and equipment, can easily be purchased at better prices than buying a whole company. The purchase is to gain their knowledge assets. Companies want information about the acquired business; its customers, its products, and how to make them. Companies have tended to focus their efforts on business information...
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Intellectual property (IP) is something that is worth more than the sum of its parts as is a painting's value which is more than the cost of paint, canvas and a frame. The painting’s worth is based on what people think of it (intellect). Intellectual property that is not in the public domain has government protection of ownership (i.e. rights) similar to real property; like land or a car. There are four main categories of intellectual property; Form, Function, Identification, and Trade Secret...

A utility patent is government protection of an idea. Protection is quid pro quo1. To get a patent you must disclose the best method for execution. When the term of protection expires, society is advanced by the best execution of a good idea being clearly stated and becoming public domain. An invention must be unique and non-obvious to be patented. Unique means no one else has done it before. Non-obvious means that a person skilled-in-the art2 would not typically come up with that solution given similar circumstances. This does not mean that the idea must be complex. Just look at the plastic spacer used in pizza delivery boxes, it was patented...

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While offered freely it is copyrighted by the authors and Complement Consultants LLC, and they reserve all rights. It cannot be reprinted or republished without their expressed written consent.

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