Monday 24 November 2008

Inherited IP: benefits and burdens

TMG Strategies ran an article earlier this month, "Bequeathed IP: The gift that keeps on giving", which asks "much money can IP earn after the inventor has passed away?" The article focuses on the case of the late, great Albert Einstein, whose bequeathed IP earned a reported US$18 million for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem last year. It also mentions what can be regarded as a substantial downside, in that the beneficiary receives not only the chance of a long, strong income stream but also -- at least in the case of image rights and copyright -- an ongoing need to police and enforce those rights. The cost of this should be factored into any budgeting before the licensing royalty income is carved up and allocated to worthy causes, if the IP is not to cause internal accounting problems and possible shortfalls at a later stage.

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