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Why IP matters, for Fashion or any other industry.

The recent Fashion week in NY , London , Milan and Paris again showcased some of the world’s strongest brands . These brands are valuable .

Louis Vuitton is worth 33,6 billion $ , Gucci 14,9 billion $ and Chanel 8 billion $ according to Forbes and are ranged top 1 , 3 and 9 in the rankings of world’s strongest fashion brands .


Strong brands perform better and are worth more , not only in the Fashion industry but in all industries , whether food , aerospace , music , automobile , electronics etc.

Several studies have demonstrated that companies owning intangible assets , among which intellectual property (IP), indeed perform better than competitors and also have a more sustainable shareholders value.


All companies possess intangible assets including intellectual property rights , data and intellectual capital :



In its recent study ‘Intangible capital in global value chains’  WIPO estimates that more than a third of the value of products sold around the world comes from ‘intangible capital’, including IP. This is double of the value of tangible capital . It stressed the growing role of IP in our economy.


Companies that do not use their IP in a strategic way, will undoubtedly be confronted with enhanced competition.


Still , nonetheless, the value of IP is often not adequately appreciated and its potential for providing opportunities for future profit is widely underestimated.


Why have an IP Strategy?


A global IP strategy creates IP value . IP should therefor be on the boardroom’s table because

  • Name recognition and brand awareness create growth. Strong brands  are:
    • better resistant to economical crisis and gain more turnover;
    • create the so essential emotional band with customers;
  • IP rights provide monopoly positions . IP generates income through licensing, sale, or commercialization of IP-protected products or services,  improving  market share or raising profit margins , realizing a return on investment through among other collection of royalties;
  • Companies with IP rights can act in case of infringement and thus protect their market position and avoid business losses;
  • IP rights can enhance the value of companies in the eyes of investors, whether in the event of a sale, merger or acquisition, or otherwise ,raising the value of the company, and at times even being the primary or only true asset of value


IP is an important asset, and should be key in any business plan, certainly  in a hyper competitive environment.

In addition IP must be adequately managed , acquired and maintained, accounted for, valued, monitored closely.

IP rights are not worth much unless adequately exploited.


IP management is an ongoing process


IP strategies must be permanently at the heart of a business. They are not a one-time activity but ongoing business, a permanent process with a view to business profitability and sustainability. Companies continuously launch new products, change their communication methods, launch new brands, re-brand products, create again and again .Continuous innovation and  business developments need regular attention.

Well performed audits of IP assets play a key role in convincing third parties and investors of a company's potential.


KOAN offers continuous IP Management Services with regular client meetings in order to make sure that IP strategies are kept up to date and in line with business developments .

Would you like to know more about our approach , contact Christine De Keersmaeker at [email protected]  , Willem-Jan Cosemans at [email protected] or Katrien Maris at [email protected] or any member of our TMT & IP team , see .