Due to the stiff competition in the corporate world today, many businesses have started dwelling on the intellectual property scorecard. It is a fact, however, that not all owners are aware of the benefits they could get from this tool. To know this, it is important to understand first what intellectual property is, and to know why they are important to your business.Intellectual property, or also referred to as IP, is the legal term for ideas and artistic works. There is already an existing law that deals with the protection of IP. Among the legal ways of protecting IP is through copyright, patent, or trademark. For the business side, IP is considered an asset. This is because business owners may charge a premium for their services. Likewise, it allows businessmen to pass on their ideas to their heirs.When we speak of IP, discussions normally focus on legal rights. However, what is missed out here is that IP must be made into assets, such as in the form of information, content, names, reputation, and many others. It should be noted also that there are ways to create value using these assets.One way is mentioned earlier – through the charging of premiums. The name or brand can be utilized to charge premiums. Whatever product you sell or service you offer, bear in mind that you can charge premiums for such if you brand them. For instance, you formulated a particular type of soap and named it. Applying the legal rights, your brand is protected by a trademark. Hence, no one else but you alone can make use of such brand.Another value created here is the opportunity to earn extra revenue. Let us use an average developer of software compared to an IT (information technology) company. For the software developer, he cannot make money if he does not work. But for the IT company, it could earn without working. What the company did is to make use of IP so that the product, which the software developer worked on, would become licensed. By doing so, the IT company can sell the product. You see, the IT company has earned extra money off this endeavor. Meanwhile, other means of giving value to assets include creating marketable assets and increasing market valuation.To serve as warning though, take note that not all ideas can be considered IP. Hence, you have to consult experts to validate whether an idea or a specific handiwork is an IP. This is important so you could claim legal rights for your idea. Remember that there is a so-called commercial viability angle that has to be looked into.Likewise, intellectual property may not necessarily belong to the original source of the idea. This also serves as a warning for knowledge workers. If you are working for a pharmaceutical company and have formulated a specific drug, then you are not allowed to claim ownership of that idea when you decide to resign. In effect, you can be sued if you sell the said drug. The reason here is that the IP belongs to the pharmaceutical company you used to work for.To sum up everything, the company benefits much from the intellectual property scorecard. By merely protecting ideas, there is much opportunity to earn huge profit.