Over half of all technology companies do not extract the full value from their inventions despite the growing importance of intellectual property, research has warned.
A new survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) looked at the challenges facing technology companies and the identification and exploitation of their intellectual property assets.
Some 85 per cent of technology executives said that intellectual property would increase in importance for their organisations over the next three to five years.
Over two-thirds believe that their intellectual property management is too often treated as a legal issue, a view particularly prevalent among North American and Asian respondents.
Others view this approach as out of date and unlikely to work in today's technology markets.
Forty-seven per cent of the executives also suggested that a large majority of intellectual property related lawsuits are spurious and intended simply to harass the competition.
The survey also found a lack of clarity about where the responsibility for intellectual property sits within an organisation.
In 38 per cent of companies, responsibility sits with C-suite executives and only 21 per cent have dedicated specialist intellectual property management units.
As demands for corporate reporting transparency increase, 35 per cent of executives will add intellectual property related information to reporting within the next three to five years. Only 16 per cent provide supplementary reporting to financial data.
Historically, company valuations were determined by capital assets, such as plant and equipment, but today intangibles often account for more than half of market value for the average company listed worldwide.
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