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Why You Need to Conduct an Intellectual Property Audit

Offit Kurman's Gregory Grissett Featured in Nectar Product Development

Originally Published by Nectar Product Development 

July 5th, 2019 | Philadelphia, PA Intellectual property (IP) is a critical asset class of any business. An IP strategy is a coordinated plan that accounts for patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, in view of your commercial plans.  An IP audit is an objective assessment of how the IP strategy and its implementation aligns with the commercial strategy of the business.

The commercial strategy should inform the IP strategy and fit coherently with it.  At a basic level, the IP strategy should account for the technological innovations your business is generating, but an IP strategy should go farther than that: IP strategy should account for forms of IP and articulate how each asset protects the competitive advantages of a business.   Each IP asset should be leveraged to maximize the legal protections associated with it.  In general, patents protect new and non-obvious inventions in the form of articles, compositions, processes, and machines.  Essentially, patents protect inventions that are often technical in nature, e.g., implant designs, diagnostic tools, instruments and medical procedures.  Trade secrets include business information that this a) valuable, b) not publicly known, and c) subject to reasonable protections on its secrecy.  Copyright law protects expressions fixed in a tangible medium, such as artwork, website content, literature, and some components of software.  Finally, trademark law affords protection for a word or logo that identifies the source of particular goods or services (i.e., your brand).  Active steps are required to perfect, protect and maintain all these forms of IP.

A tailored, active approach to IP strategy development can help protect a company’s top and bottom lines and help attract capital when it is needed.  Regular IP audits help ensure your IP strategy is aligned with your commercial strategy.  There are risks associated with a complacent approach to IP strategy or one divorced from commercial plans.  The lack of a coherent IP strategy can render your IP expenditures a mere cost to your business as opposed an investment that generates solid returns.


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Gregory Grissett helps businesses navigate complex intellectual property issues related to product development, marketing and capital investment, with experience spanning the apparel, textile, sporting goods, medical device, oil & gas, automotive, furniture, and consumer products industries. Gregory has a rare combination of experience in the international and business aspects of intellectual property (IP).


Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the mid-Atlantic region. With over 185 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our twelve offices serve individual and corporate clients along the I95 corridor in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City regions. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.

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