Intangible Corporate Intellectual Property Rights Assets: Finance and Governance for Sustainability Transitions

A special issue of Laws (ISSN 2075-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2024) | Viewed by 942

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Associate Professor, Intellectual Property Research Group, Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University, 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK
Interests: accountability; accounting; annual report; branding; directors’ duties; ESG; intangibles; innovation; intellectual property rights; IP finance; IAS 38 Intangibles; IP management; IP strategy; corporate disclosure; corporate governance; corporate reporting; greenwashing; materiality; responsible business; SMEs; sustainability; sustainable transitions SDG 9; transparency

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Co-Guest Editor
Lecturer in Law, Member of the Centre for Business and Insolvency Law, Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University, 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK
Interests: business law; company law; corporate governance; employment law; international commercial law

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Guest Editor Assistant
Intellectual Property Research Group, Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University, 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham NG1 4FQ, UK
Interests: accounting for intangibles; company law; corporate governance; geographical indications; patent law; SME finance; trade law; trademark law

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is a common understanding that the magnitude of corporate ownership of intangible intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, copyright, trade secrets and designs) has a pervasive role in the modern business environment.  Intellectual property rights (IPRs) are fundamental, yet intangible resources for explaining various aspects of economic value creation, critical for fostering resilience, growth and corporate longevity. However, varying degrees of knowledge and understanding of IPRs inhibit management and corporate communication between firms, their shareholders and other stakeholders in both the traditional financial accounts and narrative corporate reports.

In terms of corporate governance research reference points, a responsible business considers society, the economy and the environment whilst promoting the success of the firm. Responsible businesses acknowledge shareholder primacy but are also driven by many other important, non-financial information (NFI) considerations such as the strategic and ethical use of their powerful IPR portfolios. Sustainability and NFI are increasingly central to the decision-making of most business leaders, investors, regulators, politicians, consumers. Further, monopolistic IPRs have the potential to provide a significant long-term competitive advantage. Indeed, capital market participants progressively prioritize disclosure and transparency in this type of NFI. However, there is a surprising lack of material quantitative and qualitative information made available by companies, and even less about how corporate IPRs connect to sustainable transitions and responsible business.

This Special Issue will examine intangible management, corporate reporting, materiality and transparency with respect to the disclosure of non-financial narrative information (NFI) in annual reports and other grey literature. The NFI will focus primarily on corporate intangible IPR assets (patents, trademarks, copyright, trade secrets and design) with the aim of developing a better understanding of how they support sustainable transition contexts.

From corporate annual reports to corporate websites, the dissemination of knowledge regarding corporate intangible assets is affected by various types of regulation, or the lack thereof. This may be legislation in the form of the Companies Act 2006 UK as amended (and its equivalents in other jurisdictions), intellectual property laws or accounting rules. There is an evolving debate regarding the scope of corporate disclosure and non-financial information norms, i.e., what should mandatorily or voluntarily be made public. Thus, corporate intangible asset reporting presents a complex area with little research-based evidence to guide company directors, preparers, accountants, auditors, lawyers and IP professionals.

This Special Issue brings together academic lawyers, business scholars and relevant IP and other professionals who share a common interest in the role of intangible IPRs in corporate governance and reporting. We are open to authors representing various methodological approaches, from traditional legal analysis to interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches and methodologies.  We welcome authors presenting different national and regional perspectives. Researchers are encouraged to submit articles that showcase evidence regarding how best to regulate corporate IPR asset disclosures and materiality, with a view to ensuring corporate accountability for statements and claims made and avoid greenwashing. We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Janice Denoncourt
Dr. Onyeka Nwoha
Guest Editors

Michelle Okyere 
Guest Editor Assistant

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • accountability
  • annual report
  • branding
  • directors’ duties
  • ESG
  • intangibles
  • innovation
  • intellectual property rights
  • IP management
  • IP strategy
  • corporate governance
  • corporate reporting
  • greenwashing
  • materiality
  • responsible business
  • sustainable transitions SDG 9
  • transparency

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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