Intellectual Property Audits

Intellectual Property (IP) is one of the most frequently undervalued aspects of any business, and as such it is one of the key areas in which weaknesses can develop. More often than not, key aspects of IP are overlooked which can leave a business exposed.

There are many factors that need to be considered when obtaining IP protection, and it can prove a daunting task when attempting to determine where to start. This difficulty has been recognised by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and they have sponsored the IP Audit Scheme specifically for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who have demonstrated the potential for high growth.

An IP Audit is a process by which an IP Professional is employed in order to investigate all the possible threats and weaknesses associated with the different forms of Intellectual Property that might need addressing in the future. Strategic recommendations will also be made that will help in deciding a stratagem for moving forward in a protected manner.

The scheme was developed by The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) and Innovate UK with the sole purpose of raising awareness of Intellectual Property in SMEs.

There are certain criteria that need to be met in order for the business to qualify for the audit. These are as follows:

  • The company is an SME (less than 250 employees);
  • The company is engaged with one of the IPO’s partner business support schemes;
  • The company has IP identified but needs help to develop a strategy to take forward in respect of protection, commercialisation and valuation of IP;
  • The company has IP that will be significant to its development and growth.

Once the application has been made and approval has been given, a designated IP specialist will be assigned to the case who will assist in finding an IP professional and approving the report before it is submitted to the IPO.

The completed report will cover every aspect of IP, both registered and unregistered, including patents, trade marks, copyright and design rights. The report will also make recommendations as to ways in which the business can better protect itself, both in the long and short term.

Should the IPO grant the application, they will contribute £2,600 towards the total £3,000 cost of the audit. The remaining £400 is provided by the SME.

Should you want any further information, please feel free to contact us using the details below, or contact the IP audits team directly using: ipaudits@ipo.gov.uk

Nigel Brooks CPA

office@nbpat.co.uk

01730 823 647