We are pleased to announce that government funding will return for businesses for Intellectual Property (IP) Audits from 20 April 2020.

What is the cost to a business?

The total cost of an IP audit is £3,000 (including VAT) but with funding, the UK IPO (UK Intellectual Property Office) will contribute £2,500 (including VAT) and you will pay £500 (including VAT).

Why are Intellectual Property rights important to a business and why should I audit my IP?

Intellectual Property is a crucial aspect of any business and can often be monetised particularly in respect of copyright, designs and patents. Protecting your IP rights can prevent others benefiting from such rights without your permission. More importantly, knowing and having a grasp on all relevant Intellectual Property aspects of your business can add substantial value; after all it is important not to forget that IP is an asset, albeit intangible.

Having a good understanding of the Intellectual Property owned by a business can allow for new opportunities and the potential for new products to be identified.

What is an IP Audit?

An IP Audit provides a business with legal advice on how you can protect your existing IP assets.

Why should you apply for funding to conduct an IP Audit? An IP Audit can:

  • Reveal any weaknesses in your current IP;
  • Help your business grow;
  • Offer you new opportunities;
  • Differentiate you from competitors;
  • Help you increase the value of your IP assets and therefore business;
  • Make your business more attractive to potential investors and funders; and
  • Reveal any IP assets that you were not aware of and establish ownership.

Overall, the IP Audit will provide you with a strategy on how best to develop, protect and commercialise your Intellectual Property assets.

How do you apply for an IP Audit?

Enterprise Europe Network partners across the UK arrange the allocation of IP Audit funding via the UK IPO process. Businesses do need to meet eligibility criteria to apply for an IP Audit and we would refer you to Enterprise Europe Network partners who would guide you through the eligibility criteria and application process.

If you are not eligible for a part-funded IP Audit or do not want to engage with the part-funded application process then we can offer a privately funded option. The privately funded option offers an opportunity to tailor the IP Audit to your specific needs and the cost would be dependent on the scope of work to be carried out.

What does the scope of an IP Audit cover?

Each IP Audit is unique and tailored to the needs of the organisation and involves an in-depth examination of all the Intellectual Property rights associated with that organisation. This includes having a discussion with you and amongst other things, reviewing existing Intellectual Property rights, contracts and branding.

A detailed written report is supplied to you with a full breakdown of everything that the review has identified, from which we are then able to provide advice and a commercial strategy going forward. Once the report has been provided to you the scope of the audit funding also covers a follow up meeting to discuss the report.

The scope of the audit includes advice on the following areas of IP:

  • Copyright;
  • Design rights;
  • Trade marks/brand protection;
  • Patents;
  • Working with third parties and the impact it may have on your ownership of IP;
  • Review of IP focused commercial agreements (NDAs etc); and
  • Advice on general IP management.

How can Stephens Scown help you with your IP Audit?

We have conducted over 130 IP Audits in the last 6 years.

We are experts in carrying out IP Audits and continue to work with businesses after the IP Audit report has been provided to assist with their IP strategy.

We have experience assisting different sized businesses, whether you are a start up, or a larger business looking to expand.

Don’t just take our word for it

Research by the UK IPO indicates that most businesses that have had an IP Audit acted on, or are acting on, the recommendations as set out in the IP Audit report provided.

The UK IPO research highlights that nearly a third of businesses that carried out an IP Audit found that their funding stream, both equity and grant funding, increased as a direct result of the report and the recommendations they had been given.

Undertaking an IP Audit can be hugely beneficial to all businesses.