In transactions like mergers and acquisitions, financing, joint ventures, partnerships, or capital investment, proper due diligence includes understanding a company’s intellectual property and practices. Certain topics are almost always important to examine, including:
- What IP does the business own?
- What does the IP cover?
- How important is the IP to business objectives?
- Have contractual assignments of the IP been made to the business?
- Are there any licenses, liens, security interests, or other conditions that could potentially affect the value, transfer, or use of the IP?
- Has the business undertaken risk-mitigation measures, like prior art searches, freedom to operate opinions, etc., that could help protect it against infringement liability (which is usually not covered by business insurance)?
- Has the business ever issued or received cease-and-desist letters, or been involved in any disputes relating to IP?
Project CIP can add value to your transaction by providing an additional layer of due diligence and analysis.