Every business owns some form of intellectual property (IP).
IP encompasses various forms, and generally includes 5 areas:
When starting the business, protecting IP might not be at the forefront of your mind, but it is important to start thinking about IP at an early stage.
IP audits can help your business in the following way:
The first important value of an IP audit is to inform you about the intellectual property you own to help you make decisions about intellectual property protection, development and exploitation.
There is a common misconception about IP ownership – many business owners believes that if they pay a third party for the creation of the work (e.g., logo, artworks, software), they own the IP in such work. However, this is not the case – the contractor will retain ownership of IP unless there is a written assignment provision transferring ownership to your company.
IP audit will allow you to identify if there are any gaps in chain of title and correct them. This is especially important when it comes to IP exploitation, attracting investment and selling the business – if you decide to do so further down the line.
If, for example, you have not cleared the brand name you chose for your business, you may later discover that another company owns trade mark rights to it, and you could be forced to re-brand, defend infringement proceedings or face an opposition when you do apply for a trade mark.
An audit can identify weaknesses in your intellectual property rights, and your lawyer will explain options of corrective actions available to you.
To sum up, an IP audit will allow you to identify:
Briffa, being expert in all aspects intellectual property law and practice, will be happy to help you conduct an IP audit of your business and put a IP protection strategy in place. Please feel free to drop us an email or give us a call and we will be happy to arrange a free 30 minute consultation with one of our specialist IP lawyers.
Written by Anastasia Troshkova, Solicitor
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