Nine intellectual property tips for IPs
Robert Buchan summarises top intellectual property tips for Insolvency Practitioners.
UK businesses are investing more in creating and developing intellectual property (IP). Whether a brand name, product design, website content, software or customer list, IP can often be a company's most valuable asset.
In order to protect their position and maximise the return for creditors there are some practical steps an insolvency practitioner may wish to consider when dealing with IP.
- Identify the IP – this may be owned by and/or licensed in or out by the company.
- IP Audit – there may be a recent IP audit or register listing all registered IP. Alternatively there may be a designated third party with responsibility for keeping records of a company's IP.
- Search online resources –
- The UK Intellectual Property Office and other bodies have links which allow searches for registered rights.
- UK Companies House.
- Domain names and social media accounts.
- Company staff can be a source of identifying IP related assets.
- Obtain IP valuation by qualified valuers with appropriate professional indemnity cover.
- Determine ownership of IP.
- Look out for any infringement and take the necessary action.
- Are existing contracts subject to termination on an insolvency event?
- Is there any security over the IP?
With the growth of the digital economy and the ability of companies to compete on a global platform, companies will continue to invest more in IP and intangible assets.
Identifying the existence and significance of IP and carrying out appropriate due diligence should ensure the maximum value is obtained for IP for the satisfaction of creditors.
Full article will be available in the next issue of Impecunias.