For our corporate clients, we have various customized services that aim at positioning your organization above the rest in terms of IP Strategy and Management. The service offers are customizable to suit the corporate needs and abilities. Our corporate services are:
- IP Audits
- IP Policy Development
- IP Valuation
- IP Dispute Resolution
- IP negotiation support and documentations
- Capacity Building and Sensitization
An intellectual property audit is a systematic review of an organization's intellectual property assets and related risks and opportunities. Frequently and even daily, an organization and its staff interact with various IP assets; some belonging to its while others belonging to others (competitors, employees, partners and contractors among others).
Since IP are often subjects of law and in law ignorance is no defense, it is highly likely that you may be infringing others intellectual property rights and the repercussions may be dire particularly if a dispute ends up in the courts. Losses resulting from such a situation range from reputation damage to financial loss.
IP audits serve to assess, preserve, and enhance IP; correct defects in IP rights; put unused IP to work; identify risks that a company’s products or services infringe another’s IP; and implement best practices for IP asset management. A thorough IP audit involves not only a review of a company’s IP assets, but also the company’s IP-related agreements, policies and procedures, and competitors’ IP.
While an in-house counsel or IP professional may carry out IP audits, it is recommendable that an external consultant with specialized and deep understanding of IP from both a legal and business perspective is involved to get an in depth and objective analysis report.
IP Policy Development
What is an IP policy? In order to protect its own IP and minimize the possibility of infringement of Intellectual Property rights of the company by others including employees and other third Parties, it is essential for the company to have a document keenly developed and duly approved to guide all aspects of IP development, acquisition and use by employees, contractors and partners.The IP Policy aims to provide transparent administrative system for the ownership, control and transfer of the IP created and owned by the company. A simple but professionally done IP policy document can:
- Provide a guide for employees and supervisors on how to handle others' IP assets e.g. logos, copyrighted materials, patented technologies and so on. This would save your organization the cost of litigation.
- Enhance compliance with IP laws of the countries where the company may export to or operate in.
- Protect the company's IP assets and guide useful commercialization.
- Guide terms and conditions of engagement of external parties and employees.
- Cause predictability in roles of parties and benefits to participants in a joint creation of IP assets.
- Prevent expensive litigation, conflicts and misunderstandings.
- Some IP assets are only protected by a well done IP policy rather than registration (e.g. Trade and Industrial Secrets)
The brand value of a business is a composite of many variable chief among which are the value of it Intellectual Property assets such as trademarks, patents, copyright and trade secrets. In a buy-out, merger or franchise negotiation, knowledge of the value of IP assets of a company helps the negotiators in determining the value of the business.
We carry out IP valuation to determine the value of your Intellectual Property assets for purposes of:
- Merger & Acquisition, Joint Venture or Strategic Alliance
- Investment in Research and Development (R&D)
- Financial Reporting
- Optimizing Taxation
- Insurance of IP assets
- Licensing and Franchising negotiation
IP Dispute resolution
IP disputes often arise when other businesses infringe your IP, or take action against you for infringing their IP rights. These disputes can be settled in court (litigation) or through alternative dispute resolution such as negotiation, mediation or arbitration.While mediation requires a neutral person (Professional Mediator) to facilitate the dispute resolution process, an arbitrator makes a decision based on the law and facts on who is on the wrong side and prescribe a remedial action (in an arbitration award) which is similar to a court ruling in a way.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is highly recommended by WIPO and INTA because it is generally faster and less costly to the disputants. The benefits include time and cost efficiency, flexibility, party control, neutrality, a single procedure, confidentiality and expertise.
Armed with expertise, knowledge and experience, we can prop-up your team during a negotiation in an IP transactions such as licensing, merger or acquisition and during a dispute resolution process where the value of IP assets under dispute is an important factor in determination of the quantum of compensation due (damages).
It is always cheaper, easier and generally wiser to stop a problem before it starts. Properly training employees in your intellectual property procedures and ensuring their compliance therewith is the most important tool in combating the loss or violation of your intellectual property rights. We hold workshops and seminars as well as in-house trainings for staff and association.