Intellectual Property due diligence
In a knowledge-heavy industry, the utilization of intellectual property is often the core business. The monetization must be preceded by the creation and protection of intellectual property. So the takeover of such a company is driven by due diligence of intellectual property. You have to devote special attention and care to this topic.
software industry intellectual property is often the most important
asset of a company. Besides employees and intellectual property there
often are no other significant assets or means of production. But how is
intellectual property generated and leveraged in the software industry?
Sources of intellectual property rights in the Software Industry
In software companies products are created by own staff and contracted service providers. Own software components, but also third party software components (third party software, open source software, freeware) are used on the basis of usage rights.
addition, a software company can accumulate intellectual property
through acquisitions of companies or by acquiring someone else's
Before you create software, make sure that you own the required intellectual property or that you have rights to use third party intellectual property.
Utilization of intellectual property rights in the Software Industry
utilization of intellectual property in software companies usually is
granting of rights to use intellectual property to customers and
granting sublicensing rights to third party resellers. A software vendor might also reveal its intellectual property to a system integrator to enable them to provide services to the software vendor´s customers.
Comprehensive intellectual property due diligence
what is important if you acquire a software company regarding
intellectual property? In a holistic IP due diligence, the stock of
intellectual property rights, relations with all sources and all the
relations of exploitation are examined. With the acquisition of a
software company the following views on intellectual property are
Status and review of intellectual property at the target
The current state and future possibilities of utilization of IP
Review of existing intellectual property
Here you examine how intellectual property was created, acquired or licensed in the software company along the following questions:
Has the target sufficiently taken measures that work results of employees and service providers are intellectual property of the target?
Which patents, trademarks, copyrights, title protection, competition law and subsidiary measures exist and have been taken by the target?
Which clauses regarding intellectual property rights are in customer and cooperation agreements to ensure that no intellectual property "is lost"?
Which third party intellectual property was and is used by the target and does the target have the appropriate usage rights?
Books about IP due diligence
Here is a new book about open source in commercial products:
Karl Michael Popp et al. (ed.), Best practices for commercial use of open source software. book. to be published in July 2015. for more information see Open source best practices website.
(C) Dr. Karl Popp 2014