As we reaching the end of another year and you begin a new year of creative endeavors, it is always a good idea to take stock of what makes your business profitable and whether you are taking care of those assets. It is also important to review all of the new “things” you created and determine if any of them have monetary value. This is called an intellectual property audit. The purpose of an audit is to ensure that you are protecting what you have already created, what you will create, and what you don’t even realize has value. If you have never done one of these, it is extremely beneficial. You may not realize that intellectual property now comprises 75% of many companies’ assets, so now, more than ever, it is imperative to take stock of what you have created.
As you know, the lack of being proactive in protecting your creativity breeds risk of unwanted exploitation. Here are some common areas IP audits measure.
1. What types of intellectual property you possess?
2. How many individual piece or marks of intellectual property you possess?
3. Is there any under utilized or unmonetized intellectual property?
4. If so, how will that be handled in the future?
5. What are the practices of the company to maintain the protection of your existing IP?
6. Do these practices need to change to ensure proper maintenance?
7. What steps or best practices to ensure that your employees are also protecting your IP?
These are just a few of the questions that an IP audit addresses. Of course, for every individual piece of intellectual property each is subjected to the same audit analysis. So after an IP audit is complete, you may rest assured knowing that you have a better understanding of the assets that your company possesses. Often times, we view the word audit as a bad word or something extremely stressful. In this particular instance, not only can an audit make one more profitable, it can help one better protect what he or she is already are monetizing.
So here is to looking at audits in a different light! Keep creating and innovating!