“Intangibles” now make up about 80% of the value of many businesses. For small and medium sized businesses that percentage may be higher. These “intangibles” include goodwill, customer connections and the like, but mainly they consist of intellectual property rights – a portfolio of trade marks or patents, the copyright in a suite of computer programs, a catalogue of musical recordings. These are all business “assets” and how they are created, acquired, improved and used is the focus of this module.
The module is very practically focussed, examining how technology based and creative businesses and other organisations such as universities and research centres “commercialise” or “monetise” these valuable assets by licensing or franchising their IP or by engaging in other strategic commercial arrangements. It includes an examination of how businesses are bought and sold for their IP.
The module introduces students to working precedents - draft technology licences, M & A transactional agreements and similar working documents - to illustrate how lawyers in practice deal with these commercial arrangements. The module is of great potential value to students who are likely to find themselves working in a commercial environment either in private practice or as an in house attorney.
5,000 word course essay