Presentation on theme: "IP Audit "We're in an object-oriented, outsourced, and open-sourced world, and organizations are anxious to take steps to ensure that the software."— Presentation transcript:
1IP Audit"We're in an object-oriented, outsourced, and open-sourced world, and organizations are anxious to take steps to ensure that the software they build and sell is created within a responsible policy framework for use and protection of intellectual property."Mark Tolliver , CEO, PALAMIDA
2IP AuditThe due diligence process associated with mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, portfolio assessments, spin- offs, strategic alliances, and OEM procurements are now including an increased level of sophistication regarding intellectual property.Identifying the origins and value of intellectual property and assuring compliance with obligations relating to licensed assets has become a due diligence checklist item.With source code becoming increasingly available - for free - diligence teams today increasingly need to understand the pedigree of target software intellectual property.
3Key Questions? Where did the code originate? What license obligations come with its use and distribution?What is proprietary and what is open source?How can I get an accurate assessment within the short deadlines of this transaction?
4IP Audit “Audit” is often viewed as a dirty word. But it doesn’t have to be, especially when it means ensuring your IT infrastructure is efficient, cost-effective and compliant.
5IP AuditNot always are the infringement risks simply in the form of damages to copyright holders or from liability to customers for breach of warranty.For publicly traded companies, there are perhaps even larger consequences from negative customer perception and financial market effects. For instance, the day after SCO filed suit against AutoZone for copyright infringement, shares of AutoZone dropped 5 percent on four times the prior day volume. Ignoring the merits of the SCO complaint, this alone represented an approximate $300 million loss of market capitalization for AutoZone.
6Software AuditMost companies don’t normally set out to infringe IP laws, unlawful software usage could spin out of control without proper management policies and procedures in place.This is why it is imperative that companies perform regular software audits on all personal computers within their organizations. Software asset management should be a standard element of any organization's asset tracking process and is especially necessary considering the Internet has made it easier for software to be easily accessed and downloaded.
7Software AuditSoftware audits are not only about protecting a company from paying penalties for IP infringement, they also provide companies with additional information to help them better manage software costs and employee productivity.Software audits make it easier to spot out of date licenses and standardize all computers to have the most recent versions.They also make it easier for companies to consider purchasing volume-licensing programs and simultaneously lower costs and improve employee productivity if they discover a new type of software that has become more popular throughout their organization.
8Software AuditA key feature of the IP Amplifier is CodeRank, Palamida's patent-pending heuristic analysis technology.Like Google's PageRank algorithms, CodeRank prioritizes code match results, reduces irrelevant matches, and minimizes time-consuming "false- positives."False positives occur, for example, when commonly used coding idioms are inappropriately flagged. CodeRank operates on C, C++, and Java source code files.For the person performing the code audit, CodeRank allows quick assessment of code potentially derived from third-party software, controlling the match query depth -- from highly conservative to less stringent assessment.
9Software AuditA key feature of the IP Amplifier is CodeRank, Palamida's patent-pending heuristic analysis technology.Like Google's PageRank algorithms, CodeRank prioritizes code match results, reduces irrelevant matches, and minimizes time-consuming "false- positives."False positives occur, for example, when commonly used coding idioms are inappropriately flagged. CodeRank operates on C, C++, and Java source code files.For the person performing the code audit, CodeRank allows quick assessment of code potentially derived from third-party software, controlling the match query depth -- from highly conservative to less stringent assessment.
10What is IP Audit?Black Duck's protexIPTM software compliance management system can improve the diligence of due diligence and reduce risks for both buyers and sellers of intellectual property.It employs advanced digital Code Print technology and an online KnowledgeBase of thousands of open source projects and their associated licenses to quickly and accurately identify matching open source code within target software.It then evaluates associated software licenses and determines conflicts and constraints on the code's use. The protexIP system can also be extended to track proprietary and licensed commercial software.With protexIP you can get in-depth, accurate information fast - within the hectic due diligence timelines - and without major disruptions to target development teams.
11What is IP Audit?An IP audit is not just a tool for a company to understand what intellectual property it owns or holds. Fundamentally, an IP audit is an inventory of information relevant to the creation, maintenance and use of IP rightsIt is also a powerful strategic tool for managing and maximizing return on its intellectual property investment.Like its financial counterpart, a good IP audit gathers information useful in understanding what is happening in the underlying business and market.
12What is IP Audit?An IP audit is not just a tool for a company to understand what intellectual property it owns or holds. Fundamentally, an IP audit is an inventory of information relevant to the creation, maintenance and use of IP rightsIt is also a powerful strategic tool for managing and maximizing return on its intellectual property investment.Like its financial counterpart, a good IP audit gathers information useful in understanding what is happening in the underlying business and market.
13What is IP Audit?IP audit is a systematic review of the IP owned, used or acquired by a business so as to assess and manage risk, remedy problems and implement best practices in IP asset management.It involves undertaking a comprehensive review of a company’s IP assets, related agreements, relevant policies and compliance procedures.An IP audit helps a business to make an inventory of its IP assets or update it and analyze:How the IP assets are being used or not used.Whether the IP assets used by it are owned by the company or by others.Whether these IP assets are infringing the rights of others or others are infringing on these rights, and determine, in the light of all this information.What actions are required to be taken with respect to each IP asset, or a portfolio of such assets, to serve the relevant business goals of the company.
14Intellectual Property (IP) Audit An " IP Audit" has both legal and business components.The legal component covers asset creation procedures, asset quality evaluations, asset exploitation processes, and so on.The business component is more subtle and is inherent in the fact that IP pervades all aspects of the modern technological and marketing entity.Despite the increasing importance of IP, IP Audits are not a common place management activity in business or government.
15IP AuditIt is also useful to become familiar with the competitive environment for the corporation. The competitive environment is one of the driving forces in the creation and use of IP rights and it is impossible to properly audit an IP rights program without taking into account the fundamental forces which motivate the behaviors which affect the rights obtained and how they are used.
16Making/Updating the Inventory of IP Assets Identification of IPCreate the RegisterDevise the format and media upon which the register will be held, whether paper based, database and available on an intranet.Monitor new work.Keep proper records of the new work and archive or store it using a traceable inventory systemMaintaining the Register
17Making/Updating the Inventory of IP Assets To maintain currency of the register:Obtain statements from those involved in the creative process to state why or how material developed on the project is original.Record the sources and products relied on to create the original work.Where third parties' work has been utilized record the documents authorizing the use and limitations on the use right granted. Document the copyright clearances.Ensure that the persons involved in the development are not subject to a legal impediment, such as an obligation of confidentiality or restraint of trade under a previous employment contract.Safeguard the secrecy of the new work; shore up employment and independent contractors’ contracts.Monitor new work.Keep proper records of the new work and archive or store it using a traceable inventory system
18Making/Updating the Inventory of IP Assets Properly Manage the Rights vesting in the AssetsProhibit if possible the ability to use inventions prior to application for patent protection, in circumstances other than absolute secrecy.Record use of the product throughout the organization and third parties through a licensing register.
19Making/Updating the Inventory of IP Assets Internal ManagementEnsure renewal fees for registration patent or design rights are paid on time.Implement reporting procedures to track use of the work both in-house and by contractors and subcontractors where applicable.Implement reporting procedures for the passing of confidential information (and marked as such) and filing for the non-disclosure agreements.Implement procedures informing employees that the business respects the rights of other IPR holders, and post it on the corporate intranet:Post notices not to copy third party code from any source unless it is known to be in the public domain. A record should be kept of its source if practical a copy of using a web archiver where possible, such as Webzip (.com).Ensure the statutory and licensing criterion for reverse engineering are met.Document each step.
20Making/Updating the Inventory of IP Assets Manage Third PartiesIntegrate intellectual property protection:Apply trade marks.Consider the unregistered design right.Apply the UCC copyright symbol the the year of copyright.Maintain confidentiality where at all possible.Apply digital rights management technologies prior to external distribution.Apply tracking technologies to documentary confidential information and restrict its use. Specific measures for software include:Seed databases with redundant entries.Add redundant code to source code;Configure the compiler to create object code with settings that minimize the ability to decompile.Keep records of alleged infringements and how they were encountered.
21Making/Updating the Inventory of IP Assets Flexible ApplicationIntellectual property is applies flexibly across most assets of any intrinsic value that have been the product of capital expenditure. and the different intellectual property regimes apply concurrently and independently of one another. When considering a software product for instance it is quite likely that the product will be protected by:the Database right.Traditional copyright law: source code and design documents as literary works; database tables as a [copyright] tables and compilations; animations as artistic works and cinematography films.Icons may be registrable designs, and perhaps protected by the unregistered design right.Patent where the software is used in an industrial process.Source code as trade secrets.Data used by the program may constitute confidential information.Brands, logos and other devices embedded into the source code facilitate trade mark protection under statute and at common law using the tort of passing off.
22ObjectivesAn IP audit seeks to uncover unused or under-utilized assets, to identify any threats to a company’s bottom line, and to enable business managers to devise informed business and IP strategies that help maintain and improve its competitive position in the relevant market(s).Types of IP Audit: Internal Vs External(1) General purpose IP Audit;(2) Event driven IP audit;(3) Limited purpose focused auditsBefore establishing a new company: It is always important for a start-up company to be aware of intangible assets it owns or needs to protect.When a business is considering implementing new policies, standards, or procedures relating to IP.When a business is considering implementing a new marketing approach or direction, or is planning a major reorganization of the company.When a new person becomes responsible for IP management.
23Event Driven IP AuditAn “event driven” IP audit is often called IP due diligence when done on behalf of a third party to assess, as objectively as possible, the value and risk of all or a part of a target company’s IP assets.IP due diligence is a small or significant part of a comprehensive due diligence audit that is done to assess the financial, commercial and legal risks linked to a target company’s IP portfolio, typically before it is bought or invested in.Before starting the IP due diligence process, a mutual non-disclosure agreement should be signed between the potential acquirer, investor, or creditor and the target company.When done properly, IP due diligence provides detailed information that may affect the price or other key elements of a proposed transaction or even aborting the further consideration of the proposed transaction.
24IP due diligence generally seeks to Identify and locate IP assets, and then assess the nature and scope of the IP to allocate risks associated with the ownership or use of the relevant IP assets.Identify problems in and barriers to the transfer, hypothecation or securitization of the IP assets under consideration.Identify and apportion between the two parties the expenses incident to the transfer of IP assets under consideration.
25IP due diligence is done in the following types of contexts: An IP audit provides a basis for assessing the risk and value of relevant IP assets in a proposed acquisition or sale of intellectual property, as for example, prior to entering into any serious negotiations for a possible merger or acquisition, divestiture, or entering into a joint venture arrangement.It could lead to a significant increase in the value of the acquired company or the resulting merged entity.It may significantly reduce the acquisition cost or lead to a cancellation of the acquisition process if the due diligence process reveals major IP risks or IP problems in the target company, which is proposed to be acquired.
26Financial transactions IP due diligence is important before entering into a financial transaction involving IP, such as before an initial public offering or private placement of stock, or significant stock purchase, or before taking of a security interest in IP, as all of these have an impact on the ownership of IP.Through an IP audit, a potential lender will be able to more meaningfully assess a structured IP portfolio as part of its overall analysis of the credit worthiness of a target company.
27Buying or selling a business division or IP transfer Before a company buys or sells a division or a product line, a seller will generally make a series of representations and warranties as to the ownership, non-infringement and marketability of the IP assets linked to the transaction in the ensuing written agreement.Before a transfer or assignment of interest in IP, an IP due diligence should be done separately by both parties to ensure that the transfer or assignment meets both their respective business interests.
28Launching a new product or service Before a company buys or sells a division or a product line, a seller will generally make a series of representations and warranties as to the ownership, non-infringement and marketability of the IP assets linked to the transaction in the ensuing written agreement.Before a transfer or assignment of interest in IP, an IP due diligence should be done separately by both parties to ensure that the transfer or assignment meets both their respective business interests.
29IP licensingA potential licensor has to ensure, for example, that it actually owns the IP that is sought to be licensed to others, and there are no existing licenses that would interfere with the proposed new license.A potential licensee has to ensure, for example, that the potential licensor has the necessary rights to the IP in question so as to legitimately transfer the rights and that scope and extent of the proposed license will duly serve its intended purpose.
30Bankruptcy, Layoff, etcAn IP audit would also be appropriate as a planning tool in advance of any filings for bankruptcy, significant plans for employee layoffs, business closure, or elimination of significant lines of business.
31Limited purpose focused audits Personnel turnover: Before a major personnel turnover of in-house R&D or marketing staff, especially if it involves disgruntled employees.Foreign IP filings: Before a company takes up an aggressive program of filing IP applications in other countries for entering a new market abroad or expanding overseas through off-shoring/outsourcing.Using the Internet for business purposes:Before having an Internet presence, doing an IP audit helps it to identify the needs of e-commerce and registration of appropriate domain names, etc.Significant changes in IP law and practiceClean room procedures: The clean room procedure seeks to avoid infringement by ensuring that there is no “access” to copyrighted expression of unrelated parties during a software development project. Thus, an audit might be necessary to institute, or to review the adequacy of, clean room procedures used in the development of software products so as to reduce the risk of infringing third party copyright.Preparing for litigation: When considering or facing litigation, a company is required to show non-infringement, no access to the work, to complete or confirm the chain of title of the underlying IP rights or for otherwise completing the documentation of the relevant IP rights.
32Outsourcing and IP Audit When conducted in conjunction with an outsourcing transaction, the IP audit should identify all customer intellectual property to be used or accessed by the outsourcer. So, for example, if the outsourcer will have access to customer-developed and owned software, all intellectual property in connection with such software should be identified. This includes software object and source code, data used or present in connection with the software, copyrights in the software programs, inventions and patents in the methods performed by the software, and trade secrets and other confidential information embodied therein.
33Outsourcing and IP Audit Contd…1 If the outsourcer will be using or providing goods or services to employees or clients of the customer using intellectual property of the customer, trademarks must be identified as part of the audit. Their use must also be properly licensed to the outsourcer. Since trademark activities by the outsourcer inure to the benefit of the customer, proper controls – importantly, quality controls – must be set forth in the outsourcing documents.If the outsourcer will be using or hosting any websites or other web-related resources of the customer, such resources should be examined and identified as part of the IP audit.
34Outsourcing and IP Audit Contd…2 In addition to the customer IP audit, it is also important for the customer to get a clear understanding of any outsourcer intellectual property that will be used during the course of the outsourcing relationship, and to learn how such outsourcer intellectual property might impact on, interact with or otherwise affect use of the customer intellectual property.
35Outsourcing and IP Audit Contd…3 Consider open source software issuesOutsourcing transactions, whether of the business process outsourcing or IT variety, often involve software development, improvement, modification and maintenance of customer software by service providers and third-party developers. In an ideal situation, a prohibition against any use of open source software is most desirable. Nevertheless, the large number (literally thousands) of readily available open source programs, plug-ins, adapters and libraries often lead to a programmer’s use of such software.While the name ‘open source’ might imply freedom of use and distribution without consequences, restrictions and obligations are often imposed by the software licence which accompanies the software. Such provisions generally require source code access and licensing of the customer’s software programs, and should give pause even to the most aggressive parties. Open source software may be free in terms of cost, but it is not free in public domain terms.
36Who will do the IP AuditFor an audit to be effective, it is best done by a team that includes expertise in IP, the relevant technical areas, as well from other relevant areas of the company as may be appropriate for ensuring maximum effectiveness.An IP audit team should have a basic understanding of the product lines, the relevant business environment and the future plans of the company so that the audit remains focused on IP assets of maximum business relevance.
37Preparing for an IP Audit Background research for preparing an audit planInternal and external relations and interactions:Who does the company regularly interacts, or intends to interact, with: such as its employees, vendors, customers, consultants, independent contractors, joint venture partners, competitors, etc and what role(s) do(es) IP actually play, or would play, in these interactions?
38Business strategy How does the company do its business? Does it have written policies in place concerning key aspects of the business?Does it follow a certain business model?Does it, for example, engage in e-commerce and, if so, how does it fit in its overall business strategy?
39Importance of IP Assets The overall importance of IP assets to the business will have a bearing on the audit.Where IP assets are relatively unimportant to the nature of the business as a whole, it might be sufficient merely to confirm that registered IP rights are in good standing and are held in the name of the company.Where the company’s principal assets are IP, it may be necessary to conduct a more thorough assessment of the company’s IP portfolio and IP based activities.
40IP disputesHas the company been involved in infringement suits, whether as plaintiffs or defendants?Is the company involved in other types of disputes or potential disputes that involve IP rights?
41Are the IP assets of the company tied to the financing of the company?
42Status of IP management What is the company’s overall approach to IP management?Does it have an in-house intellectual property manager or department and/or does it rely on outside IP expertise?Does it have an IP policy or strategy?How well informed are its staff on IP matters?
43Preparing an IP Audit plan The specific area(s) of the business to be covered- e.g., divisions, lines of business, affiliated or non-affiliated agency operationsThe scope of the audit- e.g., only registered assets or a broader scopeThe time table for the auditThe responsible person for each part of the auditThe form of the final audit report to be produced
44Conducting an IP Audit Starting with detailed check list Modified for: Type and size of the company’s businessRelevant IP laws of the relevant countriesDesired purposesDesired outcomes of the auditA good checklist minimizes the chances of leaving out one or more relevant steps from the process. Each member of the audit team should be provided the relevant part of the detailed checklist.To produce a comprehensive, company-wide IP audit report reflecting the entire development and decision-making process for each of the company’s products and processes, the audit team should collect, review, and organize not only the IP information but also all the agreements that may affect the IP portfolio of the company. It may also have to do or get done relevant IP searches in all key markets.
45Auditing agreementsLicensing agreements: Review all licensing agreements to ensure that the company is continually in compliance with the terms of such licenses and whether they further the current and future business plans of the company.Assignment agreements: Review assignments to determine whether the company was granted an assignment from every inventor or author of a work and whether the license was exclusive. Contact all licensors and assignors to determine whether any security interests or liens have been granted in the IP assets.Employment and independent Contractor agreements:
46Employment and independent Contractor agreements: Provisions governing the transfer of the IP rights from employees or contractors to the companyTerms and conditions under which an independent contractor is allowed to use any copyrighted materials or rely on trademark association with the businessThe scope of the assignment itselfProvisions regarding a waiver of moral rights in all copyright worksClauses setting restrictions on the disclosure or use of confidential information during or after the completion or termination of the employment/contractProvisions defining the employees’ continuous obligation to assist in the protection of the IP rightsThe extent, scope and enforceability of non-compete and non-solicitation provisions
47Joint Venture & Collaboration Agreements Who owns the IP assets pre-dating or created through the joint venture or collaborationDefine a system for identifying protectable intellectual property resulting from the cooperationIdentify who pays for any application for registration of IP rights and any subsequent defense of the IP rightsDetermine the scope of IP contributed to the joint ventureDetermine which IP rights can be used by whom when the joint venture or collaboration ends.
48GrantsOften government procurement contracts and government or foundation funded R&D agreements provide for ownership of IP rights in favor of the government or a government agency, and must therefore all such contracts should be closely reviewed for such limitations.
49Other AgreementsTechnology transfer, or know how, or technical assistance agreementsDesign and development agreementsSettlement agreementsFranchise agreementsRoyalty agreementsMarketing agreementsDistribution/Distributorship agreements
50Other Agreements Contd.... Sales representative agreementsConsulting or management agreementsOutsourcing agreementsMaintenance and repair agreementsMaterial transfer agreementsProgramming agreementsSource code escrow agreements (in connection with software), any documentation relating to "clean room" development of software, database licenses listings of computer software used by the company, including all versions and source and object code, flow charts, and other software development documents.
51Within each of these agreements, close attention should be paid to: IP provisionsRepresentations and warrantiesQuality control, where applicableRestrictions on use, marketing, geographic area, etcMarking, advertising requirementsProvisions surviving expiration/terminationDuty to assign, to maintain trade secrets, non-competeEncumbrances in security agreements, financing statements,title retention agreements, other documents creating a lien,security interest or similar interest
52Auditing IP assets Identifying and recording of IP assets. Determine ownership and legal status of the IP assets.Detecting infringementTaking necessary steps for creating and maintaining IP assets
53Determine ownership and legal status of the IP assets It will include assets created by the company itself, others that are acquired or used with or without the express license of third parties.It will enable the company to see where, if any, ownership problems exist, why they exist and what should be done to prevent or solve such ownership issues.It will also reveal whether adequate systems are in place to protect these assets or, alternatively, whether and what internal obstacles exist to their protection, and whether and how these may be overcome.
54OwnershipThe nature of the company’s ownership interests and whether the nature of the interest is in doubt.Sole or joint ownership; exclusive or non-exclusive licenseRoyalty or other costs associated with the licenseLimitations on use; restrictions on assignmentEstimated legal duration and period of technological usefulness of the assetIP owned or licensed-in by a company may be subject to third-party claims. (for example, claims of trade secret misappropriation for ideas or concepts used in development of a software, claims for copyright infringement of libraries or other modules that may be used in the software, claims of patent infringement)
55Restrictions on the use of the asset Product or agency-related restrictions- Territorial restrictions- Assignment or Transfer restrictions- Time restrictions- Non-compete clauses
56Relevance to businessThe relevance of the asset to the core business of the company (whether the asset is a critical asset or an ancillary asset) and any connection with other key non-IP assets of the company, such as key staff members
57EncumbrancesWhether the asset has been pledged, or in any other way legally encumbered
58InfringementThe potential for a third party claim of infringement or damages due to the company’s use of the asset
59Detecting infringement of IP rights Review company’s policies with respect to the enforcement of its IP rights as well as its own systems for respecting the legal rights of others.If the assets are owned by the company then an audit may provide information as to whether they are infringed by others.The IP audit may provide information as to assets that the company thinks it owns but in reality it does not and could give rise to problems of third party infringement.
60Taking necessary steps for creating and maintaining IP assets An IP audit will reveal where there have been lapses in the administrative, legal and regulatory procedures necessary for creating and maintaining IP assets.An IP audit will provide the necessary impetus to take care of such requirements by creating or improving the relevant in-house policies, procedures and management practices.
61Using the results of an IP Audit: IP Analysis Evaluate and analyze whether IP assets are serving the strategic objectives of the company and if not what should be done to change thatOne technique that would help at this stage is to divide the results of the IP inventory into three groups:Group 1 :Techniques, innovations, and ideas that are essential to your products and services, and to the markets your company has decided to serveGroup 2 : Intellectual assets of real potential but not to your companyGroup 3 :‘Assets’ that seem, on balance, to have no great value to your company or to anyone else
62Evaluating IP AssetsProperly valuing the benefits that may accrue from any IP asset requires an assessment of:Speed with which a particular market values and devalues that type of assetThe cost of developing alternative IP assets to fulfill the same or comparable market needsRoyalties being paid for similar assetsMarket recognition of the assetThe cost of developing such recognition if it is deficient
63Overall Review of IP Assets and IP Policy IP audit will provide the management of the company with the basic information as to whether its IP assets are being used to attain the company’s strategic objectives.Management has to check if its business objectives, business model and its IP management policies are in alignment with each other.This can be identified by evaluating the relevance and tangible benefits obtained by using or leveraging IP assets that a company owns or has access to.
64Preventing or being prepared for litigation A carefully conducted audit may result in a determination that the company’s use of its IP violates the rights of a third party.It is better to learn of this and have brought it to the attention of upper management than be sued without warning.Advance warning of infringement allows the company to cease infringing activities, obtain a license or at the least, evaluate its liabilities and defenses.
65Business strategy formulation At this stage of an IP audit the management matches its newly established inventory of IP assets to its strategic business objectives.The objectives include:The types of products or services on which the company intends to focus its resourcesThe markets it intends to serveThe return on investment it requires in order to satisfy its owners or shareholdersThe results of the IP audit may add a new dimension to strategy discussions and may lead to new business strategies for the domestic or export markets.
66From IP audit to IP asset management Formation of IP asset management team IP Asset management team is charged with managing the knowledge portfolio and overseen by a senior executive. The team is composed of managers from various disciplines who collectively understand the firm’s intellectual assets and have had a hand in developing them.Creating IP culture For creating an IP culture, provide proper training on IP best practices to all the staff. Through IP audit, Review all training programs, to verify if they include anything or enough on IP asset management.IP policy monitoring Continuously review and monitor the existence and adequacy of IP asset management policies, procedures and practices within a company. And verify that they are effectively communicated to all the employee.
67Dynamic IP asset managers have used IP audits of company IP assets to build corporate value in many different ways. Some of the more popular approaches are discussed below:Building value in IP asset creation.Building value of existing IP assets.Reducing costs of third-party IP claims.Building value from product markets using IP assets.Creating non-core revenue streams.Creating additional revenue through core business licensing.Building value in corporate transactions.
68Dynamic IP asset managers have used IP audits of company IP assets to build corporate value in many different ways. Some of the more popular approaches are discussed below: Contd..Reducing costs of unused IP assets.Receiving tax deductions for IP asset donations.Reducing new product development costs (product clearance).Evaluating the IP assets of an acquisition or investment target (due diligence).Assessing business direction and strength.Discovering unclaimed business opportunities.Discovering business expansion opportunities.