If you take a look at our Metisology, you’ll notice that only one of our ten key business valuation drivers falls under the category of formal IP. This is because informal IP, while incapable of registration, is equally important in maintaining or driving your company’s competitive advantage. Informal IP is often overlooked in favour of focusing on the more well-known registrable IP rights, i.e. patents, trade marks and designs; however, informal IP still can and should be protected. Trade secrets, one of the informal IP rights currently gaining the most traction in the market, is a viable alternative to patent applications and merits a robust trade secrets policy in order to prevent trade secret leakage. Just think what would happen if Coca Cola’s famed secret recipe was discovered by a competitor! Other informal rights, such as critical customer, supplier and partner relationships can enhance the value in your company’s brand and reputation, whereas organisational knowledge and business processes can make your company more valuable in the eyes of prospective investors and buyers, and can help your business realise a greater valuation upon exit.