For most people, the phrase “intellectual property” calls to mind a string of high-profile and often bizarre disputes over who came up with an idea first. Whether it’s the Icelandic government taking on its supermarket namesake, two forgotten authors alleging that The Da Vinci Code was their idea or a German inventor seeking credit for the Walkman long after it had become obsolete, intellectual property cases have provided their share of headline-grabbing stories over the years.
In reality, however, protecting intellectual property is about much more than laying claim to inventions or notions – it’s about employing a diverse range of skills to help all types of businesses innovate, grow and continue moving in the right direction. Companies are routinely measured by an archaic and out-dated accounting system. There is a huge discrepancy between a company’s book value and its market value. It is estimated that 80-85% of business value is intangible assets, off balance sheet, only 15-20% of business value is actually recorded in the financial reports. We live and operate in a global economy where knowledge has value. By identifying valuable intangible assets and possible pitfalls, intellectual property analysts use their creativity, foresight and meticulous eye for detail to make the kind of recommendations which can truly seal a business’s future. In the process they forge for themselves a highly rewarding and fulfilling career.
If you’re approaching graduation and seeking a career path that combines your specialist academic skills with real talent and initiative, in which every day is unpredictable, then working as an intellectual property analyst could be the job for you. Because of its varied nature there are a number of potential routes into the industry, including disciplines like engineering, design and sciences. While you may never have considered it before, read on to find out what makes this fascinating profession truly unique.