Every business has IP but not every business appreciates this, knows how to manage it or recognises the value of its IP. For many businesses IP is in fact their single most important and valuable business asset and could, amongst other things, be used as a lever to secure finance for the growth of a business. Every business that is IP rich needs an IP strategy and we can help you to devise and manage this. Periodic reviews and audits of IP are necessary to ensure that the strategy remains relevant, aligned with the overall commercial objectives of the business and ultimately to benefit the general business strategy.
- We can help you to create and implement that strategy through a full IP review or Audit so as to enhance the monetisation and value of IP in your business. The IP strategy will evolve over time but will always include the core services of carrying out IP health-checks, audits, and valuations.
- We can also consider with you which territories should be covered by the IP strategy, the extent to which any external investment is needed to take any product to market, and whether there are licensing opportunities.
- We can put together checklists / polices / guidelines to form the basis for creating a common culture for you to maximise your investment in IP.
How we charge for Managing IP
We seek to be flexible in how we charge and where possible aim to offer our clients a number of options on how they pay for our services. We expect that the fee paid to us should reflect the added value that we bring to a business through our consultancy services rather than simply be based on the cost that we incur in providing that service to you.
Aside from the health-check and audit reports, which are charged at a fixed fee, you can pay us for our other IP Strategy services either at our normal hourly rate, or where appropriate at a fixed fee, or if you prefer by way of a monthly retainer. Further details of all of these options are set out in the section below entitled “Our terms of business”.
Where we successfully assist you to obtain funding for your business we reserve the right to charge a finders fee.
We provide a suite of IP consultancy services designed to enable you to identify, understand control, manage, monetise and protect the intellectual assets of your business. Our IP examination services offer a powerful management tool designed to provide you with the necessary information and insight to identify your IP and to then introduce policies to maximise the value from IP and to assist you to prepare an action plan detailing how your IP assets will be commercialised.
These services range from a brief health-check questionnaire, which can be completed by you remotely, through to a full IP examination and analysis audit, which takes place at one or more of your offices and typically lasts at least one day.
We can provide you with a detailed explanation of each of these options so you can decide which one of these is right for you.
In our experience one of the recommendations following an IP Examination is to proceed to value that IP. Such IP valuations are very important and enable a business to correctly value and then manage the significance and importance of its IP. Most businesses undervalue their IP.
The primary reasons for valuing IP are as follows:
- It improves the accuracy of a business’ worth
- It may be important to the value of IP assets if they are to be traded, for example to calculate whether a royalty rate under a licence is appropriate and proportionate
- In an acquisition of another company it will be necessary to value that other company’s IP which might be a significant or substantial part of the overall value of the company’s assets,
- It may be important or prudent to include IPR on a company’s balance sheet
- A valuation of the IP may assist the business to identify the most effective and efficient taxation strategy.
- It may be important to estimate the value of a right in legal proceedings so as to quantify the likely damages or in order to settle a case of alleged infringements.
- If the business becomes bankrupt or is re-organised it will be necessary to form an assessment of its value including its IP. There are traditionally three methods for valuing IP
- Costs basis
- Market Value basis
- Income or economic benefit model
Each of these ways of valuing your IP differs and professional advice is needed to establish which is the best way to value your IP.
Following an IP audit we may recommend that certain intellectual assets are registered at the appropriate register to secure and maximise that IP protection. For example a patent should be sought for important inventions and technical processes, a trade mark should be registered for important names, logos, straplines and even shapes and smells, and significant and new designs that possess individual character should be registered.
Having IP rights is meaningless unless these rights can be protected. We can assist you to obtain insurance to cover the costs of any infringement.
Once the IP of a business has been identified, and an appropriate strategy devised for maximising its potential through a valuation and any necessary registrations applied for / obtained, we may recommend to you to consider the financial aspects (including tax) aspects of the ownership or licensing structures including obtaining tax advice.
We work with trusted advisers in this field and are happy to recommend them to you.
One of the purposes of creating an IP strategy is to assist businesses to secure external investment and funding. We work with specialist IP investment teams and have the networks and connections to present your business needs to a wide selection of funders ranging from high net worth individuals, and private wealth funds through to private and high street banks.
We assist creators across a number of sectors to check that they are receiving their full entitlement to royalties from the use of their works. We have particular knowledge of the systems and practices of collective licensing in the music industry and have helped our clients to recover previously withheld royalties. We can assist you to do the same.