An important aspect of managing your intellectual property portfolio is to ensure that your IP remains fit for purpose and continues to meet your needs as the business develops.
An audit of your IP - an “IP review” - can help you to achieve this. It is often particularly helpful to conduct an IP review when your business is going through a period of growth or following a change of direction. It can also be helpful to conduct an IP review before undergoing an investment round, to make sure your IP is in good shape for the due diligence process and will stand up well to scrutiny. Some clients find it helpful to conduct such a review as part of an annual health check.
When we conduct an IP review we will typically:
- Provide an overview of your entire portfolio of IP, including patents, trade marks, designs and copyright, and consider any know-how or trade secrets that are not protected by patents and domain and company/trading names
- Assess the overall strengths and weaknesses of your portfolio, its geographical coverage and how well it meets your needs as a business
- Advise on the likelihood that pending intellectual property rights will lead to granted patents, trade marks and designs and the scope of protection that might be achievable
- Provide practical advice on how to strengthen your portfolio and how to save costs by rationalising it
- Consider any procedures you have for identifying, capturing and protecting any IP which is generated in-house
- Advise on opportunities for further protection, such as valuable areas of research which have not so far been protected by patents and how patent and design portfolios may be extended through strategic trade mark protection
We can advise on whether protection is possible. We can also advise on whether the right strategy is to file new patent applications or to keep your research as company know-how.
At the end of the IP review process we will provide and discuss with you a written report containing recommendations and an action plan with timings and costs.