For many businesses, intellectual property (IP) protects more than just an idea or a concept – it protects genuine business assets that may be integral to the core services of the business and overall long-term viability. IP is easily misunderstood, but at the same time, most scientists encounter it at some point in their career, as it is a necessary feature in the commercialization of research. IP can work for you if you understand what it is, why you want it and what you are going to do with it. R&D management needs to keep all players informed and involved in the direction their company is heading. The primary reason to understand the strategies behind intellectual asset management is to carve out a niche IP leadership position for your company as a differentiator among the players in your industry and your company’s future goals.