The Business of Creativity

Houchin Consulting PLLC

Intellectual Property Audits

Intellectual Property Audits

The Intellectual Property Audit is the first step toward an integrated intellectual property management system for your business. An IP Audit is a hunt for under-utilized assets, waste, and potential legal exposures. An IP Audit has four basic purposes:

  • Protection of company-created assets
  • Leveraging income generating intellectual property
  • Compliance with existing licenses to and from the company
  • Avoiding infringement of the intellectual property of others
  • Triggering Events

    Companies should conduct a partial or complete IP Audit as a regularly scheduled process, or when:

  • Conducting strategic planning initiatives
  • Facing a significant stock purchase or debt financing
  • Merger, acquisition, sale, or closure
  • There have been significant changes in applicable laws
  • Beginning a branding campaign
  • Types of Assets

    Our IP Audits focus on the following company-created intellectual assets:
    Copyrighted Materials Documents, Articles, Marketing Materials, etc.

  • Work Made For Hire
  • Freelance/Contractor Agreements
  • Trademarks and other Branding Elements Product Names
  • Logos
  • Internet Domain Names
  • Slogans
  • Songs
  • Colors, Scents, Shapes
  • Characters
  • Packaging
  • Other indicators of source.
  • Trade Secrets

  • What would you NOT want your competitors to know?
  • Why?
  • What are you doing to protect those secrets?
  • What should you be doing to protect those secrets?
  • Contracts

  • Employee
  • Subcontractors
  • Licenses
  • Patents (if applicable)

    Master Works (if applicable)

    Internet Issues

  • Domain Names
  • Email Policies
  • Employee Blogs
  • Hyperlinks
  • Metatags
  • Materials Used WITHOUT Express License

  • Competitor Trademarks
  • Incidental Photocopying
  • Email
  • Employee Data
  • Client Data
  • Assets Used WITH Express License Software

  • Equipment
  • Trademarks
  • Copyrights
  • Patents
  • What We’ll Look For

    The IP Audit is designed to discover and document:

  • Income Generating Assets
  • Ownership of Assets
  • Records of Transfers
  • Perfection of Security Interests
  • Compliance with Statutory Formalities
  • Potential Infringement Issues
  • Defenses to any Potential Infringement Issues
  • Our Process

    We approach the project as follows:

  • Define the Scope of the Audit. Will it be comprehensive, or just a look at your trademarks and trade secrets?
  • Develop the Schedule
  • Gather Information General Questionnaires
  • IP Inventories (as defined in scope of work) Registered Copyrights
  • Registered Trademarks
  • Registered Patents
  • Employee Manual
  • General Business/Strategic/Marketing/Sales Plan
  • Advertising Materials
  • Graphic Standards Manual
  • Software License Inventory
  • Trade Secret Information
  • Employee Invention Journals (when appropriate)
  • Individual Interviews

  • Management
  • Sales/Marketing
  • Human Resources
  • Line Employees
  • Direct Observation

    Written Analysis

    Response Planning Policy Development

    Employee Education Programs

    Registration of Assets

    License Development, Planning, Negotiation.

  • Tags

  • Archives