Businesses routinely check on their inventories and physical assets to make sure everything is accounted for, operational, and adequately protected. However, in addition to physical assets all businesses also have intangible assets. Indeed, some businesses have only intangible assets. Among these intangible assets are the things a business creates and offers its customers, its name, the name of products and services, written materials and customer lists are all potentially protectable Intellectual Property assets. An IP Audit will help identify these kinds of assets and ensure their adequate protection. Just as a business regularly reviews its physical assets, it should also review these intangible IP assets by undertaking periodic IP Audits.
When are IP Audits necessary?
Like physical asset inventory audits, businesses should approach IP Audits as potentially annual events. Not only does this ensure that existing IP assets are accounted for and properly maintained, but this will allow for identification of any newly created assets. As IP law is a rapidly changing field, an annual audit will also ensure that any new legal requirements or twists are properly dealt with. Intellectual Property should also be audited in connection with any major corporate transaction such as a merger, acquisition or divestiture. Similarly, financing transactions may also implicate IP assets and, if so, they should be audited during the transaction.