Intellectual Property Rights

IP Audits

We deal in the inspection and scrutiny of IP portfolios by preparing comprehensive reports. We focus on providing Intellectual Property audits and Intellectual Property valuation to our clients, both nationally and internationally, which includes the legal audit of their Intellectual Property positions.

Our Attorneys accurately inspect and scrutinize IP portfolios to ascertain that the IP assets of an enterprise are adequately and validly protected in different jurisdictions.

Our comprehensive assessment of the client’s Intellectual Property holdings  focuses on identifying all the Intellectual Property assets within the organization being audited, identifying any problems that exist with the Intellectual Property ownership, identifying any defects in title or enforceability of the organization’s Intellectual Property and identifying any unprotected Intellectual Property assets.

The valuation helps clients to increase their capital, obtain funding by hypothecation of their IP assets, determine the correct value of IP assets during Mergers & Acquisitions and Assign or License their IP assets.

IP Audits FAQ's

As per a normal understanding, audit means valuing and conducting inspection of company’s assets. Similarly, Intellectual Property (“IP”) Audit is the inspection of all the intellectual properties held by a company. An IP Audit consists of a systematic review of the IP assets used or acquired by a business through the course of its operations. The IP audit is usually conducted to uncover IP assets and also to identify threats, if any, to a company in lieu of the use or association with that particular IP asset.

There are majorly 3 types of IP Audit. They are as follows:

· General Purpose: general purpose audit is done as a regular practise time and again to review the IP.

· Event Driven: Event Driven is mostly done when the company is entering into a financial transaction.

· Limited Purpose: Limited Purpose audit is done by the company to fulfil a specific purpose and nothing more, this is very limited and restricted to selected IP.

In order to conduct a comprehensive IP audit, one must analyze each aspect of a company's inputs, resources, process, outputs and relationships. This will also help discover the company's intangible asset. Thereafter, the intangibles assets have to be evaluated and classified into one of the protectable intellectual property rights. These include two categories:

· Statutory: patents, copyright, designs, trademarks, plant varieties, geographical indications.

· Non-statutory/common law: know-how, technical information, confidential information, brands, trade names, trade dress, secrets, databases, client information, business methods and processes etc.

Following are the few types of agreements through which an entity can lawfully acquire, use, or own IP assets:

· Employment contracts/ NDA's and assignment contracts.

· All in-bound and out-bound IP licenses.

· Joint-ventures, M&A and other corporate transactional documents.

· Distribution agreements.

· Marketing agreements.

· Sales representative agreements.

· Original equipment manufacturer, value added reseller and other reseller agreements.

· Standard form customer agreements.

· Shrink wraps or click wraps.

· Government contracts.

Before embarking on the process of IP Audit, it is necessary to keep in mind the purpose of the IP Audit and the resources available while making an audit plan. Research plan and checklists are an essential part of IP Audit as they help to understand and keep a track of the audit. Thereafter, the process of IP Audit involves some basic steps such as inventory check where all the IP assets are catalogued, along with a detailed description of each of the given assets. Subsequently, it is essential to check if any of the IP rights is capable of infringing the simultaneously existing IP rights. Lastly an IP auditor is also required to identify lapses in the legal, regulatory and administrative procedures related to IP management.

Some entities will have IP rights as a key element and tend to invest capital heavily in the creation of their IP rights. A portfolio of the company’s intellectual property rights, if properly managed and maintained can help in the decision making process for the transacting entities. An IP audit provides a basis for assessing the risk and value of the relevant IP assets in a proposed transaction. This allows entities to evaluate their negotiating power and quantify the value of the proposed deal. The outcome of an IP audit could lead to a significant increase or decrease in the value of the acquired company or the resulting merged entity.

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The client’s satisfaction is evident from years of their association with us, more than a decade for a lot of them. We act as an extension of in-house legal teams and act as External Legal Counsel to you. Our efforts are towards being strategic partners in your growth and not to be just a law firm.

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