US: Business restructuring and the role of intellectual property
03 January 2012
In today’s increasingly global business climate, intellectual property (IP) has become a major driver in corporate profits, both from an innovation point of view as well as from a global branding perspective. David Cordova, Arin Mitra, Andrew Newman, Keith Reams, Larry Shanda, and Alan Shapiro of Deloitte explain how taxpayers can navigate new obstacles in IP planning
The development of IP has also become increasingly globalised, and multinational companies have typically responded by setting up innovation and R&D centres in different parts of the world to leverage the increasingly dispersed talent pool and to capture differences in cultural influences on their brands. As multinationals move in this direction, they have come under increasing pressure to restructure their businesses, redeploying management and assets in many instances, with IP chief among those assets. The first step in any business restructuring, therefore, is identifying the IP and other business drivers.
IP has many dimensions and can take a variety of forms, such as patents, copyrights, or trademarks, which are legally registered, as opposed to confidential information such as knowhow and other trade secrets, which are protected by nondisclosure (see Figure 1). Some IP, such as patents or copyrights, can be transferred through sale or license individually. Other property, such...
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