Documentary evidence of the legal protection held by the company over its Intellectual Property assets including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and web domains.
Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, names and images used in commerce.
Intellectual property protection refers to the legal, contractual and technological mechanisms that can be used to prevent others from using your Intellectual Property.
Given the ever-increasing ease with which information can spread, it is becoming harder to use information security to protect your intellectual property or product ideas and ensure they are not unfairly recreated or produced by someone else. Whether you are a small start-up or a larger organization, taking steps to protect your intellectual property should be a priority within your business.
Certainty and risk minimization are very important for any investor or lender as they consider entering into a new transaction. It is quite common for a significant proportion of a company’s value to be underpinned by its intellectual property. If an investor or lender cannot gain confidence that your intellectual property is protected, they may decide the risk in the transaction is too great.
For an investor or lender, a strong set of intellectual property rights provides protection against two important down-side scenarios:
In an M&A transaction the risk of your intellectual property being copied by competitors increases substantially. In a merger or acquisition you are likely to invite competitors into your deal. You will need to provide some information about your company’s intellectual property assets in order to justify the company’s value. Should these competitor’s be unsuccessful in agreeing a transaction with you, they could decide to use this newly obtained information to gain a strategic benefit against you unless you are in a position to enforce your rights.