The first stage in due diligence is typically a standard set of questions or a questionnaire. If you are buying or investing, you will issue this to the seller or other party; if you are selling, it will land on your doorstep or arrive in your inbox.
Sections that address IP rights may include:
- Contracts and Arrangements - R&D and technology agreements, licensing agreements, merchandising agreements, etc.;
- Intellectual Property Rights - schedules of patents, trade marks, registered designs, copyrights and unregistered design rights;
- Trade Secrets - a manual or other document detailing the procedures for maintaining the secrecy of trade secrets; descriptions of proprietary processes;
- Communications to or from third parties relating to the validity or infringement of any patents, registered designs, technology, trade secrets, trade marks, trade dress, and copyrights;
- Studies or reports relating to the validity or value of IP rights;
- Assignments of IP rights
- Employee invention assignment agreements, copyright assignment agreements, work-for-hire agreements and compensation arrangements to employees for invention or copyright assignment.