An Intellectual Property Audit (IP Audit) is an organized evaluation of a company’s IP assets and related risks and opportunities. A meticulous IP audit not only involves a review of a company’s IP assets, but also the company’s IP-related agreements, policies and procedures, and competitors’ IP. Intellectual Property Rights are created and defined by law; hence it is in the best interest of the company to conduct the audit with the help of specialized law organizations or personnel. It thus becomes mandatory for any organization to protect and safeguard its Intellectual Property.
We at IP and Legal Filings (IPLF) have performed several IP audits and worked with numerous Indian and International Corporates to help set up their IP Cells and conduct IP Audit and Due- Diligence programs. We have a dedicated IPR Audit cell, which deliberates and implements issues that business organizations need to understand. If you feel the need to establish correct practices to manage your Intellectual Property, we can assure you that our team has the right skill set, across technology domains, and would efficiently help you to introduce and place on record the correct IP Management systems.
1. Information gathering
The first step is a discussion between the client company and our specialized audit team where basic information is shared. Our team shall then extract information from the client company such as the business of the company, commercial sectors in which they operate and the benefits, unique features of the company, competitor details etc.
Then our team would review certain necessary documents, existing IP policies, standards, controls, licenses, compliance procedures and practices in the company, and shall also make site visits, if required.
3. Audit and analysis
Our team shall then prepare an audit plan on the basis of the information received and implement the same. On the basis of the plan, a critical analysis and comprehensive discussion is done on the existing IP Portfolio of the company and extensive timeline-based policy changes, transformations, and activities are charted out to ensure a steady and strong growth in the IP Portfolio of the Company. Our team then gathers information from relevant people, carry out investigations and analyze the findings. Finally, the audit report shall be filed.
- Relevant Documents, Policies, Agreements and Licenses.
- IP Strategy Document
- Company Information
- Competitor Information
- Other documents as necessary
1. What is the purpose of an IP Audit?
The purpose of an IP audit is to uncover under-utilized IP assets, to identify any threats to a company’s bottom line, and enable business strategists to devise informed strategies that will maintain and improve the company’s market share and brand equity.
2. What are the Benefits of IP Auditing?
There are numerous benefits of conducting an IP Audit such as:
- It helps in assessing, preserving, and enhancing the IP of a company
- It helps in correcting any existing defects in IP rights
- Auditing helps in preserving and enhancing the value of existing IP
- Aids in putting an unused IP to work
- Identifying roadblocks and preventing costly disputes
- Implementing best practices for IP asset management
3. Why is it necessary for a company to conduct an IP Audit?
As mentioned above, a company can acquire a lot of benefits from IP Auditing. To break it down, there are four reasons why every company should conduct an IP Audit:
- Identification – IP Audit will help in identifying the company’s IP that might not be known to business personnel and hence, you can protect and license the property better.
- Preservation – IP Audit helps in proactively protecting the assets of the company before they are lost.
- Avoidance – IP Audit can assist in avoiding IP litigation by identifying potential risks beforehand and taking steps to mitigate such risks.
- Optimization – IP Audit helps in better optimization of a company’s IP and hence could help in increasing the economic value of the same.
4. How can our IPR audit cell help you?
Our IPR audit cell goes through unbiased audit and perfect due-diligence that can help you in:
- Establishing a right IP strategy and correct practices to manage IP at the corporate
- Introducing and placing on record the correct IP Management Systems leveraging
- IPR for business growth.
5. When is the right time to do an IP audit?
There is no right time to conduct an IP audit, as such. It completely depends on the management of the company as to whenever they require to design or review IP policies and procedures. Sometimes, companies also prefer to do IP auditing before a specific business event of the company in order to develop a proper index of their IP assets.
6. Is it mandatory to conduct IP Audit with a legal team?
Generally, IP Audit is done by an audit team that comprises of legal, financial and technical personnel.