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The purpose of all LES standards in the field of intellectual capital (IC) management is to develop management frameworks and business process standards that accomplish one or more of the following objectives:
Across the world, innovation is the principal source of differentiated and defensible competitive advantage for individuals and enterprises. Innovation is the basis of advantaged products and services, and it drives sales and profits. It is the source of jobs. It is the engine of the global economy. Yet the intricacies of IC management are not well-understood by our political, financial, and business leaders.
In addition, in business schools around the world, IC management is not treated seriously as a business subject. In fact, to the extent it is dealt with at all, IC management is taught as a legal subject, not as the management of the largest component of value in the modern enterprise (i.e. 80 percent of the equity value of publicly traded companies). IC valuation, the business processes employed in IC management (both risk mitigation and value extraction), IC sharing and protection with third parties, and IC strategy are barely touched upon.
IC and its value are, therefore, nearly invisible to most of our business, financial, and political leaders and thinkers. They have little, if any, grounding in it. There is little accounting for it. And very often, no one outside the legal department has explicit responsibility for its protection and management.
Benefit of LES Standards
LES standards are voluntary consensus-based professional practices that are guided in their development by the "American National Standards Institute's (ANSI's) Essential Requirements." (ANSI is the unique accrediting agency in the United States for voluntary consensus standards development organizations.) LES is an accredited ANSI Standards Developer (ASD) and as such guarantees its constituents that its standards will be developed in a fair, balanced, consensus-based, due process driven way.
LES standards are designed to encourage and teach consensus practices in many of the business process aspects of IC management and, where appropriate, offer enterprises the opportunity to differentiate themselves based on their use of these consensus professional practices, through certification of conformance to those standards. LES standards will be to the practice of IC management what ISO 9001 is to the practice of quality management.LES standards, developed by practitioners for practitioners, are conceived to be tools with which enterprises can improve the way they do IC transactions, protect their innovation, extract value from their innovation, apply IC to their business strategies, and deal with third party IC.
Areas of Standards Development
ISO/TC 279 Innovation Management
IP Protection in the Supply Chain
IP Management for Startups
Intangible Assets in the Boardroom
The standards areas listed for each committee above are suggestions for consideration of the committees. It will be up to the committees to decide what areas they would like to work on (and in what order it would be best to work on them) to achieve the purposes of the LES Standards Program. It is important to keep in mind that all journeys begin with relatively small steps, and this will likely be the case with LES Standards development work. The earlier standards may be easier to develop consensus on than standards developed several years from now.
Will there be additional standards committees that we will want to establish over time? Yes, certainly. One broad area that comes to mind is IP valuation. There will be others.
The Cost of LES Standards Participation*
There are two ways that you can get involved:
Until now, the IP management community—the community of experts in IP management—has not organized itself to speak with one voice in answer to urgent queries from around the world as to what should be done in the licensing of patents, what should be done in the selling of patents, what should be done from a business process perspective to protect other-party IP. It has not organized itself to develop and implement scenario-based standards of IP valuation, standards of enterprise conduct in IP transactions, IP agreement template standards, and so forth. This is a short-coming that we need to fix.
The IP management community needs to come together in an open, fair, and balanced way—under the rules of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)—to answer those queries being made of the legislatures and courts around the world and of the IP management community in its current disarray. The IP management community will come together in the LES Standards Program to begin the process of answering these and many other urgent and important questions that politicians, judges, juries, business leaders, financial leaders, citizens, inventors, entrepreneurs, and enterprises of all kinds have been wrestling with for many years.
LES encourages all organizations and individuals who have a stake in the answers to participate in the LES Standards development process. LES is moving forward to set up a process in which everyone around the globe is welcome to participate, whether a governmental organization or agency, an educational institution, a consulting company, a law firm, a sole proprietor, a product company, a services company, or any other professional group.
We look forward to working together with you and your organization as we focus on the critical questions an IP-based world economy demands to have answered. And we promise that the very best minds in the IP management community will be enlisted to lead us to success in this significant task.
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LES Standards Leadership