Verify the true value of the IP at the heart of your next investment
When a new business is trying to persuade you to invest in them, you’ll hear all the positives. They’ll tell you about their strengths, their vision and the unmissable financial returns your investment will reap. However, before you take the plunge you need to be absolutely sure everything you are being told is true.
You need to verify the facts.
Before you close an investment you need find out if the company has the intellectual property (IP) protection in place to protect the ideas that underpin their offering. You also need to be sure they have a solid IP strategy to safeguard your financial interest during future funding rounds or at exit.
This is where VerifyiP will help.
Like you, we know that traditional IP due diligence can quickly become overly detailed not to mention expensive. More frustratingly, the results rarely provide more than a long list of IP rights that offers little indication as to the value these rights really contribute to the business.
More to the point, as an investor you won’t be investing in the IP alone; you want to buy into the business as a whole. You want to invest in its ideas, its products, its people and its future.
To do that, you need to take a much more commercial and objective view of the IP involved. You need to verify the company you are planning to invest in has both the IP rights and the IP strategy in place to drive their business plan through to a financially successful exit.
VerifyiP will answer all of these questions.
As an investor, why should you Verify(the existing)iP?
The main reason is we will provide you with a frank assessment of your potential investment made by an experienced attorney who has worked alongside investors and start-ups for many years.
You can use that assessment to help you make your final investment decision safe in the knowledge the key facts and underlying assumptions have all been independently verified.
However, VerifyiP also answers some additional but no less critical questions for investors including:
- Has the company protected all the IP required to deliver their business plan?
- How well does their IP map to their commercial products and processes?
- Who owns their existing IP and who would own any future IP?
- Are there any FTO considerations you should be aware of?
- When the business is sold, will the IP increase the valuation or put the deal at risk?
- Are there any additional IP-related issues that could impact on the success of your investment?
If you think that depth of additional independent analysis could add an extra layer of security to your decision making process, your next question is likely to be why should you entrust Potter Clarkson with the responsibility?
Aside from the many years of investment experience our team has built up, we offer 3 additional benefits we feel are unique to us:
- We host a detailed IP debriefing for the company (and you if you’d like to attend) summarising not only our findings but also IP-focused recommendations that will help strengthen the business and, if relevant, broader perspectives we’ve learned from working with similar businesses.
- When there is a crossover of technologies in a target company (for example the use of AI in healthcare or pharma), we always assemble a multi-disciplinary team of attorneys. They will work closely together in a team led by an experienced lead attorney chosen because their specialism matches the main technological focus of the IP due diligence.
- If your IP due diligence needs broader legal support, we’ll bring in our own experienced IP solicitors to advise on a wide range of non-contentious and contentious matters. The ability to refer internally will help you control costs and make the due diligence process easier for you to manage.
How does VerifyiP work?
Rather than just examining paperwork from a distance, we spend time with the people behind the company you’re interested in.
We use that time to find out everything we can about both them and their business so we can build up the complete picture we need to formulate the accurate and honest appraisal of their IP that you need.
Although we have to vary our approach from company to company, the VerifyiP process always evaluates:
- The company’s business plan and ‘technology roadmap’ from an IP perspective
- The IP strategy they have in place to deliver that plan
- Whether they have (or don’t have) the IP required to support their business plan
- The actual ownership of their IP
- The way they manage their IP within the company (is it a Board level consideration or is it managed at a lower level?)
- How they plan to work with third parties to develop and market their technology
- The potential impact these collaborations could have on their IP strategy
- Their attitude to IP-related risks, including freedom to operate (FTO)
- How the business currently works with their patent attorneys
And once we have all the answers, we will present them in a concise report that explains how their IP is relevant to their business plan and sets out how their key products and processes are protected so you have all the extra independent verification you’ll need to make the right investment decision.