What is Intellectual Property? Identifying your IP About Intellectual Property Explorer
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What is an IP Audit and why do one?

A stock audit or stock inventory is a familiar business management tool. When taking an inventory of stock, you identify the quantity of stock you have, and the amount of stock that is needed.

It is an important business management tool to capture information so that decisions can be made about stock that needs to be produced or ordered, stock for which demand is less than expected and stock that may be out of date or defective.

This information enables informed and considered business decisions to be made in the best interests of a business seeking to efficiently manage its assets.

IP Audit

An IP audit or IP inventory is no different. An IP audit will capture and analyse information so informed and considered decisions can be made. In this case, intellectual property is the subject of the audit or inventory.

If you are conducting an IP audit for the first time, you may be surprised at how many IP assets your company has and how valuable they are to your business. Furthermore, an IP audit may uncover potential risks to your business that could ultimately result in costly legal proceedings with employees or third parties.

There are two steps in the IP audit.

The first step is to identify IP. Intellectual Property Explorer will help you identify your IP by asking you a series of interactive questions. By responding to each question, you will identify IP in your business which you own, or which you use.

The second step is to assess what your rights are in relation to each item of IP identified. Remember, the economic benefit of IP cannot be realised unless a business has ownership over the IP available to it.

Intellectual Property Explorer will progressively take you through a series of interactive diagnostic questions that will help you ascertain:

  1. whether you own the IP
  2. if you do not own it, whether you have adequate rights over it
  3. whether adequate steps have been taken to protect the IP in relation to your staff and contractors
  4. whether there are any restrictions affecting your ability to freely use the IP, such as joint ownership.

The tool concludes by also asking some specific questions concerning the protection of intellectual capital (knowledge that is useful to your enterprise) in relation to your key employees.

After Intellectual Property Explorer has helped you undertake your IP audit, you will then be able to generate reports that will:

  1. present an inventory of your IP, and
  2. make recommendations in relations to areas of concern or uncertainty about your IP, or where your IP protection strategies are needing attention or improvement.

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