A recent report from the FT based on interviews with 300 companies, 50 each from the UK, France, Germany, the Benelux, countries, Scandinavia and southern Europe (Italy and Spain), describes some recent alarming findings:
Fewer than four in 10 large businesses in Europe have ever conducted a valuation of their intellectual property assets and only one in five has attempted to tot up their worth in the past year, according to a wide-ranging survey to be published today. The report, commissioned by City law firm DLA, also found that only 52 per cent of large European businesses had a documented IP strategy, with fewer than 60 per cent employing a formal system for checking whether their IP rights have been infringed. Lawyers at DLA called the survey's findings "alarming". "IP as an asset gives businesses an unbelievable advantage in their fields. Companies wouldn't dream of not looking at their buildings and other physical assets, or not taking insurance seriously," said Jeremy Dickerson, head of DLA's intellectual property division. European companies tended to view IP as "a defensive issue" rather than an asset that should be maximised, Mr Dickerson said. By contrast, "in the US, IP is everything". British and German businesses were more prone to cite difficulties in enforcing trademarks and patents. This was mentioned as the biggest IP challenge by 24 per cent of UK businesses, compared with 16 per cent in Europe overall.
This as been covered over, and over by Russ Krajec (and others):
There is some likelihood that the protestors and activists get their wish of weakening the patent system in Europe. This will drive the innovative companies to the US and any other safe haven for patents. The result is that the US economy will continue to innovate and prosper while the Europeans yield to the fickle movements of activists.... ...When the European software market turns into a nuclear wasteland, the US market will be vibrant and booming. The most creative and talented people will be working here, developing useful products, starting new companies, driving nice cars, living in big houses, and paying lots of taxes. In the long run, who will prosper?
Innovative CEOs (and they board members) needs to start paying more attention to this if they want to be successful, and build global companies.