Intellectual property is an important asset to your business.
The best way to become clear about what IP you have in relation to your business is through an IP audit.
The first step in the Audit process is to identify the readily identifiable IP. Assets falling into this category will include any registered trade marks, copyrights, designs or patents owned by the business, any licenses to third parties and any licenses from third parties, including cross-licenses. Also included in this category are things such as in-house work manuals, databases, recipes, franchise agreements, publications and product/process know-how. Once identified the IP’s are then scrutinized to determine who owns them, whether they have not lapsed (remain registered) and enforceable and whether they are being effectively used. The Individual components are also given an importance rating – by looking at factors such as whether or not they are embodied to core technologies, the life expectancy of the underlying IP in the said technology and the potential or actual exclusivity of the technology.
In trying to estimate the value of any of these items, a good question to ask is how much will it cost to replace the item if it were lost, what is the expected income, e.g. in the next five years, that can be generated by the underlying IP assets and how is it being used. Several IP valuation methods can be used to establish the value of an underlying IP asset.
A further benefit to the IP audit is that it can identify areas which need protection and therefore needs subsequent registration or enforcement in the industry.
It is essential for businesses to effectively manage their IP portfolio and protect their brand.
If you need advice on what IP your business has and what you should register, contact Lawdit Solicitors and one of our expert solicitors will be able to assist you.