Some folks have a visceral response to the phrase audit. They assume the tax persons are coming and can quickly be pounding on the door. An IP audit is completely different; it’s a voluntary course of used to determine what mental belongings you’ve got as an organization — and create processes to find out whether or not these mental belongings are patentable, or if they’re protected commerce secrets and techniques.
If you happen to’re attempting to strengthen your IP place, it’s best to broaden your considering past IP to additionally embody your mental belongings. A well-written IP Audit and Structured Innovation Program, by the legal professional of your selection, will make sure that:
- commerce secrets and techniques are effectively protected by an applicable authorized regime;
- gaps in innovation based mostly on current and future enterprise plans might be recognized; and
- different intangibles of worth are protected.
A combination of each patents and commerce secrets and techniques is fascinating, patents are sometimes a really helpful proxy for worth in sophisticated transactions — however everyone knows should you peel again the onion that the true worth is effectively past the patent.
Commerce secrets and techniques should not only a perform of the R&D division or the authorized division. They’re a perform of HR, a perform of employment agreements. They’re a perform of OEM agreements and consulting agreements as a result of it’s a must to share commerce secrets and techniques with a purpose to have regular enterprise operations in right now’s multi-state, multi-party manufacturing processes. And each nation has its personal native twist.
If you happen to don’t have a way of what mental belongings you’ve got, what your belongings are as an organization, the place the innovation is occurring, and the way it’s taking place — it’s going to be tough to craft a holistic and well-thought-out program to monetize your mental belongings.