Does Your Business Need One?
The answer to the above question is invariably, yes. The answer is definitely yes if products, designs and/or creative outputs are at the very heart of your business. So why is it that an Intellectual Property (IP) audit (or perhaps think of it like an IP health check) is often low down a business’s list of priorities? Most likely because most businesses don’t know that they need an IP audit until something has gone wrong.
But why do I need an IP audit? I know what IP I have in my business
Do you? Really?
Are you confident that you understand which of your business assets attracts IP protection? If you are able to identify which business assets attracts IP protection, are you sure about what sort of IP protection that asset attracts? If you do, do you actually know (and by ‘know’ we mean ‘really understand’) how to go about securing that protection?
How about making sure that the business is not at risk of infringing other business’s IP rights? Have you done your due diligence? For example, if you did apply for a trade mark, did you do a clearance search before investing in your branding and trade mark application?
Are you confident that the content on your website is actually owned by you and has not, for example, been retained by a third party website developer/creative marketing agency? In fact, are you confident that all of the work that’s gone into the development of your new product is owned by you?
A lot of the time, if you think about it, the answer to some of the above questions is actually no, when in fact the answer to all of the questions should be yes.
The purpose of an IP audit is to help you not only identify the assets in your business that can, and should, be protected but it’s also there to help you to identify risks and, perhaps most importantly, opportunities.
All too frequently clients come to us to ask for advice when things have gone wrong and litigation is the only answer. We’ll of course work as hard as we can for our clients if that is the case. However, one of the best pieces of advice that we can give before things get that far is: get your ducks in a row. Make sure that you can:
- Identify and exploit IP-related opportunities so that they generate revenue; and
- Identify and manage IP-related risks, so that they don’t cost any more than they have to.
That’s half of the battle.
We understand that each business is different and that different IP considerations will apply depending on the nature and outputs of the business, so our advice is always tailored to your individual situation.
If you are interested in learning more about Irwin Mitchell’s IP audit service please contact Emma Yates or Jasmine Fearnley in our IP team who can discuss the benefits of an audit for your business as well as our transparent pricing solutions.