Sharon Kleyne Encourages Entrepreneurs To Treasure Their IP. Sharon Kleyne Wants Heightened IP Awareness.
Author Russ Krajec, in an article in IP Watch Dog, said that “patents encapsulate the hopes and dreams of a company.” Patents, of course, represent a significant part of any company’s intellectual property, so Sharon Kleyne, the international Water Life Science® leader whose advanced water research and business acumen shaped and inspired a new water lifestyle, could agree more with Krajec.
Sharon Kleyne wants entrepreneurs to wake up to the treasure trove of assets literally hiding right under their noses and begin to focus on creating, developing and marketing intellectual property. “The more savvy the business world becomes,” said Kleyne, “about IP and its immense value, the more companies will need to think about engaging a staff IP Manager. It’s the wave of the future,” Kleyne continued, “and the future is now!”
Sharon Kleyne also agrees with longtime colleague Andrew Sherman, a sometimes guest on The Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water, Global Climate Change and Your Health radio program and the author of 2011’s influential Harvesting Intangible Assets: Uncover Hidden Revenue in Your Company’s Intellectual Property. Sherman argues that business entrepreneurs must learn to hate waste. They must wake up to the immense, often untapped, resources hidden in a company’s intellectual property (also known as intangible assets). Sherman, who works as a Partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Jones Day and is an international authority on the legal and strategic aspects of business growth, encourages entrepreneurs and others in business to mimic the principles of recycling and agrarianism to better leverage the value of intellectual property that already exists in communities and companies.
Since its inception, one company that has always excelled in this strategy is, of course, Sharon Kleyne’s own Bio-Logic Aqua® Research Water Life Science®, the first company to have achieved a first-ever global patent on a micron size of water to supplement the eyes and skin. Kleyne’s brother and advisor, the late Ronald Cowin (MBA, Wharton School of Business), wrote the company’s first business plan and always stressed the importance of connecting the art of doing business with collecting intellectual property. “The company has always vigorously developed and protected its IP,” Kleyne said. “Our IP is our value and our future, which includes licensing agreements and partnerships around the world, collaborative advanced water research, and, in time, Water Life Science® hospitals that will specialize only on evaporation studies and supplementing earth’s and the body’s water vapor. Our international IP in the power of water is immensely valuable.”
Sherman referred to the Wisconsin state senator who called together several cheese makers in his state and convinced them to keep, collect and sell its excess cheese curds to the state. Why? The state had discovered that the cheese curds, when spread on icy roads, greatly improved tire traction and safety. Sherman cited other examples of entrepreneurs developing IP. He made the point that Ray Kroc did not invent the cheeseburger. He didn’t plant the seed that was McDonald’s; yet, he recognized its potential and brought that to a larger marketplace. “Fred Smith at Fed Ex is another entrepreneur who saw potential and revolutionized the package delivery industry,” Sherman said. Sherman pointed out that these successful entrepreneurs took something that already existed and made it better. “And that is doing business,” Kleyne said, “with IP on the front burner instead of the back burner.”
Sharon Kleyne, for decades a tireless advocate for water research and education, said that intellectual property management is her top priority as a businesswoman. “You can’t just focus on sales,” Kleyne said, “because if you do, you won’t be able to rely on your IP to pull you through a down period.” Sherman referred to this awareness as ‘knowing your company’s donut hole. “We’re never going back to being an agrarian or industrial society,” Sherman said, “yet the principles of farming still apply. An entrepreneur needs to be on the lookout for new seeds. An entrepreneur must plant, protect and harvest those seeds (or take over someone else’s crop), then get that harvest to market.”
“I agree,” said Sharon Kleyne. “We need to approach business, and creating and protecting IP, with a sense of agrarian urgency.”