Many SMEs are unaware of what IP they own. Even if they are aware, they may not know what IP is protectable, how to protect it, be that by patents, trade marks, copyright, designs and/or trade secrets and, importantly, how to leverage the IP to generate an income.

An IP audit is a detailed review of the intelligible IP assets of a business, and can be used to help a business identify and protect its IP, and to leverage value in the IP for the generation of revenue. It offers an overall look at the current and future IP position of the business and assists in recommending an overall IP strategy for that business, as well as assisting in cost forecasting for the future management of the IP. An IP audit can also alert a company to any freedom-to-operate (FTO) risks that it may be taking, for example if it is encroaching onto a competitor’s IP, and it provides suggestions for circumventing those infringement risks.

Fortunately, Government funding is available for having an IP audit report produced. Through the UKIPO’s IP Audits Plus scheme, which is primarily aimed at SMEs, innovative businesses can access funding, typically up to £2500, for an IP audit. Subsequent funding is also available (up to £5,000) to help implement the recommendations provided in the IP audit.

If you feel an IP audit would help your business to help achieve its commercial objectives, we can provide initial advice on your eligibility and introduce you to one of the UKIPO’s recognised partners (e.g. Innovate UK) so that you can qualify for the IP Audits Plus programme. We will help you through the process and, once approved, we can then carry out the IP audit on your behalf. We have carried out numerous IP audits for SMEs and will provide you with a detailed final report which you can use to help achieve your business objectives, such as raising investment, or generating revenue, for example by licensing or selling the IP, or selling your business.