Intellectual property is a business asset like any other. Unfortunately, because intellectual property is intangible, it can be difficult to ascertain whether a business has rights in intellectual property or not.When undertaking a due diligence as part of the sale of a business, it is vital to have expertise that can identify what intellectual property assets exist, and who owns the rights to those assets.
Once this has been done, one is in a position to either exit or (hopefully) fix any problems and proceed with the transaction. These are a few examples of issues that can derail a transaction:
- Software developed for the business by a third party where copyright in that software still vests in the third party
- Software licences required by the business that cannot be transferred if the business is sold
- Software that is thought to be owned by the business, but which is actually licenced from a third party
- Open-source code used in the business’ proprietary software that requires all the source code to be made public
- Domain names registered in the name of a service provider
- Trade marks that have not been registered or have been registered for the wrong class of goods/services
- Trade marks that have expired
- Trade marks held by the wrong party
- Patent applications incomplete
Our skill set includes both intellectual property and software development expertise, which positions Dingley Marshall uniquely to assist in due diligence work for intellectual property, particularly in the ICT and software development spaces.