Fresh Water World’s Most Valuable Intangible Asset Reports Global IP Technology Authority

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Bio Logic Aqua Research Founder Sharon Kleyne Interviewed Harvesting Intangible Assets Author Andrew Sherman about Water’s IP Value.

Fresh water is not only world’s most important tangible commodity, it also ranks among the most valuable intangible assets. That was the conclusion of author and global intellectual property (“IP”) and technology expert Andrew Sherman, in an interview on the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water® radio show of April 28, 2014. Sherman is author of 24 books, including Harvesting Intangible Assets (AMACOM, 2011).

Andrew Sherman, MBA, is a partner in the global legal and consulting firm Jones Day. His expertise is developing strategies to leverage intellectual property and technology assets. Jones has served as legal and strategic consultant for dozens of Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of emerging companies. Jones is an adjunct professor in the MBA programs at the University of Maryland and Georgetown University.

Sharon Kleyne, host of the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water®, is Founder and Research Director for Bio Logic Aqua Research, a fresh water, atmospheric and health research and product development center. Natures Tears® EyeMist® is the Research Center’s global signature product for dry eyes. The radio is broadcast on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel, Health and Wellness Channel, and Apple iTunes.

Sherman contends that intangible technology assets, or “intellectual property,” are often more valuable than tangible physical assets. Sherman describes intellectual property as ideas, concepts or technology rather than physical objects. The most common methods of protecting IP are patents and copyrights.

Intellectual property and technology is protected under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution of the United States, Sherman notes. The section states that authors and inventors should have a right to ownership of their writings and inventions. Sherman has found no other country whose national constitution addresses these issues. Kleyne observes that governments do not protect sales but they do protect IP technologies through patents and copyrights.

Sharon Kleyne is aware of the value of fresh water as an intangible asset because in 2009, she was awarded the first ever US patent on the technology of pure, fresh water as a supplement to the atmosphere to relieve dry eye complaints. The patented IP includes the method of application, the proprietary technology behind the method, and the intended use. That is also where the value to Kleyne’ company lies.

Having grown up on a farm, Sherman views business as an agricultural metaphor. That’s why his book is called Harvesting Intangible Assets. In running a farm, Sherman notes, knowledge of the technology of planting, growing, harvesting and marketing are more important than the physical crops. Crops only have asset value when correctly grown and marketed,

Worldwide, according to Sherman and Kleyne, an extreme and growing fresh water shortage is creating an immense economic, political and public health crisis. Kleyne believes that there is sufficient fresh water to go around and that the problem lies in developing innovative and cost effective technologies for collecting, recycling and equitably distributing the water for drinking, agriculture, sanitation and industry According to Kleyne, water is agriculture.

These fresh water technologies are intangible assets worth billions worldwide Kleyne supports Blackrock Founder Larry’s Fink’s assertion that water is the number one investment worldwide. Investment in fresh water technology enables economic development and saves lives.

Sherman and Kleyne offer advice for business people, entrepreneurs, recent college graduates and anyone seeking employment: Be aware of your company’s – and your personal – IP, technology and intangible assets. These assets cannot be protected and monetized unless they are written down, analyzed, identified, documented and legally protected to prove ownership and date of origination. Obtain copyrights and patents whenever possible.

When the telephone was first invented, Kleyne notes, Alexander Graham Bell was sued by an individual who claimed that Bell had “stolen” his ideas. The person could not conclusively prove an earlier origination and therefore lost while Bell made millions.    

Individuals, according to Sherman, should identify and record their personal intangible assets, which employment experts call “skill sets.” Again, to maximize monetary values from personal intangible assets, they must be identified, documented and where possible, protected.

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Mikaylah Roggasch