Your business has an inventory of your raw materials, finished products and stock on hand. What about your intangible assets?
Unlike hard/tangible assets, such as machinery and equipment, which depreciate over time, your intellectual assets appreciate over time as you invest more into their development. It’s not just patents, trademarks and copyrights. Your IP assets go well beyond the technology that gets baked into your products to include branding, know-how, trade secrets, and more.
Like physical assets, your IP assets must be acquired and maintained, accounted for, valued, monitored closely, and managed carefully to extract their full value. If your business doesn’t know what intellectual property it owns, you can’t manage and protect it from damage or loss. Instead of putting your IP to work, your company faces a number of potential risks including loss of income, infringement claims, and employee theft of trade secrets or valuable know-how.
An IP Audit is more than just a list of your IP assets. It’s a tool that helps you make sure your rights are secure, find new revenue opportunities, and increase your business value. In 2014, the UK conducted an IP Audit study of small and mid size business. The results showed over 40% of the companies identified new business opportunities, and one third reported increasing their revenues as a direct result of the IP Audit. In addition, about 20% reported securing new financing as a result of the IP Audit.
IP is your most important business asset. Regardless of what type of product or service you offer, your business is always using and creating some form of intellectual property. If you don’t know what you have, you can’t manage it. Just like physical assets, such as raw materials, finished goods and equipment, you need an IP inventory to effectively manage and make money with your IP assets.