Spring is often a great time for companies to consider an intellectual property audit. As the name suggests, the process involves identifying all of your IP assets, including trademarks, copyrights, designs or patents, as well as any licenses to or from third parties.
Once all of the assets are catalogued, the next step is to evaluate the registrations, legal agreements, policies and procedures that govern them for compliance. For instance, it is important to verify that all copyright and trademark registrations are up to date and that all licensees are meeting the terms their agreements. Finally, the value of each IP asset should also be assessed in order to determine its relative worth to the company.
In addition to providing an overall picture of your company’s IP assets, audits also help make sure that companies are up to date with changes in IP law. Ground breaking court decisions and new regulations, such as the America Invents Act, may necessitate changes in how a company seeks to protect its IP rights.
Internal changes within the company may also signal that IP changes are needed. For example, new product lines may require additional trademark protection. Similarly, if the company has expanded its operations outside of the United States, it is likely time to consider international IP protections that may be available.
Connect with me on Google+