One of the first exercises which can be undertaken by a company looking to maximize the value of their IP assets is to undertake an IP audit or inventory. By reviewing the different areas of your business, to identify and inventory different categories of IP rights or obligations that exist in the company, the bigger picture for a proactive IP strategy can be mapped. Identify areas in which the most IP flight risk or leakage exists, or areas in which the most innovation is taking place, and allocate your resources accordingly. In addition to preparing an inventory of the types of intellectual property assets that exist within a company, another aspect of an IP audit which is sometimes of use is for companies to actually conduct an audit of various business agreements and documents to ascertain types of incoming and outgoing rights which have been granted or acquired, to understand how those inbound or outbound licenses or other agreements might affect the IP strategy or IP abilities of the company.
An IP audit is a good starting point to a better understanding of IP in your organization. The audit can start with a small focus and be expanded or completed over time, or completed in a more omnibus fashion. We can help. And understanding your business and industry can yield a stronger inventory result, as the weighting and importance of different categories of IP rights in the resulting analysis of the audit results can vary based on your industry or your business objectives. Initiating an IP inventory in your organization can also help on an ongoing basis, as it gives management the opportunity to review opportunities and challenges in the internal innovation or research and development cycle on an ongoing basis.