In order to determine the value of its assets, a company must keep detailed records identifying all property owned. Physical property naturally lends itself to this tracking because there is something tangible to make an account for. Intellectual property, though intangible, can be one of the most valuable assets a business owns. An IP audit trail is a way to provide a tracing record of this valuable property and provides several advantages, including:
Documenting the origins of intellectual property. A company that has an IP audit trail is able to document each step of the creation process of items considered intellectual property. For example, the notes and sketches leading to a patent acquisition can help prove ownership of the patent and the ideas that led up to it.
Providing support in litigation. A detailed IP audit trail can prove dates of creation and patents so if these rights are ever challenged, there is documentation supporting the claims to ownership. An audit trail can also help protect copyrights and trade secrets by proving the company was developing certain ideas at certain points in time.
Showing clear steps to the final product. Sometimes it is necessary to refer to the creation process of intellectual property to trace modifications to the property or breaches of invention agreements. If someone working on the development of an item makes unauthorized changes or deletes information, being able to pinpoint this can be crucial in determining wrongdoing. Also, if any data is stolen, an IP audit provides a record that can help the owner prove the company owned the data before it was stolen.
Having an IP audit trail is a proactive step that savvy business owners implement before a situation arises where the documentation is needed. With this record in place, protecting the valuable intellectual property becomes easier. We can help ensure you get the IP audit trail you need. Contact us today to learn more.