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Auditing your IP

One way your SME may acquire a better position to capitalize on the potential benefits of its IP assets and extract their full value is by conducting an IP audit. Ideally, this should be done by professional IP auditors, but often a preliminary IP audit may be done within your company. This entails identifying, monitoring, valuing your SME’s IP assets so as to make sure that you are making the most out of them. By doing so, your SME would be able to make informed decisions when it comes to:

1. Acquiring IP assets

Knowledge of your enterprise's intellectual property and of its value will assist you in deciding which type of IP rights to acquire and maintain, and howbest to manage the IP assets of your SME. The value of your enterprise maybe considerably be affected by the acquisition of key IP rights.

2. Mergers and acquisitions

An IP audit can identify all the company's IP portfolio and help to find strengths and weaknesses of IP assets. That allows the company to obtain potential area and targets to acquire specific technology. Once toe potential targets are identified, the company can narrow down the choices and decide which one of the companies is the best acquisition target in order to strengthen its competitiveness and keep competitors out of market. The successful M&A can lead to a significant increase in the value of your SME.

3. Licensing

SME can increase its cash flow (revenue) and marketing power by licensing out its IP rights to a third party. An IP audit will assist your SME in determining the value of your own IP in order to obtain maximum benefit from license agreements. The revenue resulting from there has the potential of increasing the market value of your SME.

4. Collateral

A well-structured IP portfolio can also be used as collateral. In such cases lenders will use your IP assets to determine the credit worthiness of your SME.

5. Enforcement

Knowing the value of your IP assets will assist your SME in taking decisions on whether it is worth while taking action against infringement and in what way this may be done.

6. Cost reduction

A well managed IP register would help you identify obsolete IP assets (thus enabling you to cut-down IP assets' maintenance costs), avoid infringing other people's IP rights, etc. This would undoubtedly lead to a reduction in costs.

7. Summery

IP is part of every aspect of life in an increasingly knowledge-driven society. It means that IP assets have become the most powerful tool that your enterprise can use in order to survive and grow in today's highly competitive business environment.

More and more enterprises are beginning to realize that intangible assets are becoming more and more valuable while tangible assets are becoming less and less valuable for the competitiveness of a business. Therefore, an enterprise should legally protect intangible assets by acquiring and maintaining IP rights.

IP assets enable your enterprise to achieve the following goals: strong market position and competitive advantage, higher profit or returns on investment, additional income from licensing, creative bargaining power in business deals and positive image of your enterprise.

As a powerful business tool, an IP strategy should be established systematically to identify, protect, evaluate, monitor and exploit your IP assets to ensure that you are reaping maximum benefit out of them.

For further information, please follow the next contents, explore the world of intellectual property and chances that intellectual property may bring to your enterprise.