Knowledge is a vital asset
How can intellectual property be used as a business tool?
Latin America is the region most affected by the pandemic, according to World Bank information, and suffered enormous economic and social costs. It is expected that this situation will have a long-term impact on the economies of the region. In this sense, Mexico is one of the most lagging countries due to the lack of budgetary response. As a result, Mexico’s economic recovery is expected to be slower and incomplete.
In this context, physical companies, as well as those based on models closely dependent on their physical infrastructure, have been among the most affected. Tangible assets such as buildings, machinery and equipment wear out, wear out and eventually become obsolete. Tangible assets also normally require special maintenance or updating. In these current times of scarcity, uncertainty and lack of control, this process is very complicated.
There is no choice but to adapt and make a big effort to move forward in the face of this unprecedented and constantly changing situation, but it must be done in a smart way. As the popular saying goes, crisis equals opportunity, but that is only true for those who know where to find opportunity. And if the “old” tangible assets are not the best option to revitalize the economy, then what is? One option is knowledge.
Knowledge is an intangible asset that does not wear out; it can be considered both as a resource or as an inexhaustible asset for companies. Knowledge and innovation are already widely recognized as drivers of the economy and this function is amplified in times of crisis. Currently, knowledge is the most important asset for a Mexican organization to maintain or increase its competitiveness. This is particularly the case for small Mexican businesses that have suffered the most from the blows of the pandemic, since their physical infrastructure was not strong enough to cope with such an unfavorable climate.
Thus, in times of crisis, it is important to promote a generation of new knowledge, to create new products or services, or to improve processes. If a company bets on a generation of knowledge and innovation, it will always bet on differentiation. And if a company manages to differentiate itself with an interesting and relevant value proposition, it will stand out from the competition.
But it is important to consider that while knowledge has the potential to promote economic recovery, its incorporation poses challenges. Knowledge is an intangible asset that cannot be controlled by physical means or barriers, unlike tangible assets.
While a car, for example, can be kept in a closed garage, knowledge cannot. If a company develops a new airbag for vehicles that improves the protection of its occupants in the event of a side collision, the disclosure of it in a scientific article on this subject, or the marketing of a car that includes it, would suffice. to a third party to copy and build it. If the original airbag manufacturer is a small Mexican company and the one looking to copy it is a large international company with more manufacturing and distribution muscle, the small company may find its competitive advantage diluted or even canceled if he does not. have control of their know-how in the development of their product.
Thus, knowledge is a vital asset for competitiveness and the revival of the economy, particularly in times of crisis and for small or medium-sized enterprises, but how to master knowledge? The answer lies in intellectual property. Although intellectual property is a legal concept, it is first and foremost a business tool. Intellectual property includes patents, trademarks, and trade secrets, among other legal devices. These control different aspects of the creations of the human mind. Through intellectual property, innovators can protect their competitive advantage and even maximize the value of their knowledge assets. They can prevent others from exploiting them and avoid any copying problems. It is also possible to capitalize on a company’s intellectual property using various financially advantageous mechanisms. For example, a small Mexican company may manufacture the previously mentioned airbag in Mexico, but at the same time they may choose to take advantage of the capabilities of the large company to gain additional economic benefit from marketing their product overseas, by granting a license.
It is therefore important that Mexican companies consider intellectual property as an option for economic recovery after the pandemic, and also as an option to ensure long-term sustainability.
For more information on this subject, please contact Mariana Gonzalez Vargas at Becerril, Coca & Becerril SC by phone (+52 55 5263 8730) or email ([email protected]). The Becerril, Coca & Becerril SC website can be accessed at www.bcb.com.mx.