What is an Intellectual Property (“IP”) Audit?
An IP audit is a systematic review of a business’ IP assets and related risks and opportunities. It involves a review and analysis of IP assets to identify them and ensure that ownership of them is protected.
Five Reasons Why You Should Conduct an IP Audit
A business should undertake an IP audit for the following reasons:
- an IP audit conducted by an experienced IP lawyer can assist you to understand the types of IP that exist in your business e.g. copyright, trade marks or logos, patents, or designs, and the extent to which such IP is owned by your business. Further, there may be licenses or other agreements related to these forms of IP. IP audits will help your business reorganise these assets.
- it helps you to evaluate and strengthen your IP assets and portfolio as to improve the competitiveness of your brand. IP assets must be protected and maintained to ensure that they do not lapse or become unprotected. IP audits will therefore facilitate and optimise business transactions;
- an IP audit will help you to develop a strategy to commercialise your IP. This is because it should reveal the extent to which any IP is owned by your business, and assist you to exploit the IP i.e. by way of licensing. IP audits thus identify new opportunities to profit from IP;
- an IP audit should assist you with identifying any unauthorised use of any IP (i.e. registered trade marks and copyright) and enforcing your rights over such IP assets. IP audits can therefore identify roadblocks and prevent costly disputes; and
- a regular IP audit ensures that all IP are adequately used, and renewed as the need arises so as to protect a business’ brand identity. The failure to adequately manage and monitor an IP portfolio could affect your business’ brand as registered trade marks, patents and designs will lapse if not renewed.
In summary, a regular IP audit is critical as it gives you a basis for constantly assessing, utilising, and commercialising any IP owned by your business. A regular IP audit will enable you to understand the types of IP owned by your business, enable you to develop a strategy to commercialise your brand, and enforce any rights which attach to your IP assets.
To protect your brand name speak to a trade mark specialist at Trade Mark Direct today on 1300 002 210 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Key words: IP audits, IP assets, intellectual property, trade marks, patents, copyright and designs and licences