Lawyers responsible for managing their clients’ corporate intellectual property must know which patents they would assert defensively, if a competitor sued tomorrow, and offensively, if a competitor introduced a product identical or nearly identical to the client’s products. They also must be able to identify which patents protect their clients’ most valuable corporate products, and which they could send to their clients’ competitors to force them to design around the clients’ key products or, better yet, deter them from competing with the client at all. Further, they have to be able to identify which patents the client could license for additional corporate income or offer in a cross-license for access to a valuable new technology.
A patent audit is a useful, step-by-step tool for organizing a patent portfolio into an effective corporate asset — one that, if performed properly, will enable lawyers to more effectively represent their clients when an intellectual property issue arises.
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