You should analyze from time to time the value of your IP rights. This is called an “IP Audit” and it will help you in valuing your intellectual rights.
The audit can be conducted by your company, or by outside company. The important aspects of the audit is to:
All IP rights, like the tangible assets, must create value to the company. So, if rights are not used, for example a patent, a company must take a decision to continue paying for the rights or just abandon them. The abandonment of rights can arise if the technology changes, the old technology is not used anymore, it cannot be licensed to the other companies.
In such situations, to keep the rights are not worth, because they cost money: renewal fees, protection fees, management fees, etc… The patent in Europe costs every year. The price increases each year. And if the technology is outdated, such patent should not be renewed.
The same can be said about territorial protection. All IP rights are territorial. So you pay renewal fees in each and every territory where the rights are registered. Imagine, your rights are protected in Costa Rica. But you have never started selling in Costa Rica, even if at the beginning you thought, it will be your greatest market. So sadly, the decision should be, not to invest more recourses in your IP portfolio in Costa Rica.
What you can try to do, when you see your rights does not give profit anymore (or never did…)?
As a starting point, try to calculate how much time would be required to develop these assets from scratch or how much a competitor might pay for them. An accountant may be able to help you value these assets and place them in context of your business.
If you want to learn more about intellectual property audit – contact our us for more information.