Six Reasons to Conduct Intellectual Property Audits
Intellectual property audits entail the systematic reviewing of a firm’s intellectual property assets, associated risks, potential value, and opportunities. In essence, these audits help to protect, maintain, and improve the Intellectual Property (IP) portfolios of firms.
Below are the top six reasons to conduct intellectual property audits, which will provide insight as to how IP auditing can help improve your firm’s IP asset management.
- Identify Important Assets
Your firm can have various IP assets, which might have gone unnoticed, simply because the records of the assets have not been properly organised. Intellectual property includes copyright, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, or design rights. Various licenses and agreements might be associated with these IP assets. By recognising which IP assets your firm owns, or has rights to, you can identify the ones of value.
- Ownership Verification
Though your firm may have several IP assets, it does not mean your firm owns all the rights to these intellectual properties. Indeed, the designer of your company’s logo may have retained specific design rights to the logo. Intellectual property audits help you to identify the ownership and rights of each IP asset in your company.
- Protection and Maintenance
Audits help companies identify which intellectual properties are about to lapse and require renewal. It is thus essential for your firm to identify steps that need to be taken to protect and maintain the various IP assets. This is only possible if you know which IP assets you have, and when they are up for renewal.
- Protect Integrity
Trade secrets are also IP assets. Your firm may have information that counts as trade secret information. An audit helps to identify the trade secrets, and whether the required steps have been taken to prevent disclosure of the trade secrets by employees or partners.
- Proactive Planning
Intellectual property audits help to identify areas in which your firm can create or acquire IP assets. Armed with the right information, you can take the necessary steps to ensure that the IP assets are also protected in the future.
- IP Audit Trail
With intellectual property audits, you create audit trails. With this, you have documented proof of the creation process. This is important in case an IP dispute develops over the origin or ownership of the asset. The documented proof can be used in your claim for ownership, should you need to take steps against an infringing party, or defend your firm against an infringement or violation allegation. It also shows modifications that have been made to IP agreements, and give you a historical overview of each IP asset in your firm.
Armed with the information obtained through intellectual property audits, you are able to create value for relevant investors. If you know what you own, you can exploit the assets better, in order to increase your firm’s revenue from IP assets. With full records, you are able to manage the assets better. Knowing and having proof of the value of the IP assets also helps to accurately establish the value of your firm.
Use our expertise regarding intellectual property audits to help your firm realise the benefits associated with owning and managing your IP assets correctly.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Call our attorneys for legal advice, rather than relying on the information herein to make any decisions. The information is relevant to the date of publishing.