Canada’s Intellectual Property Firm

Due Diligence

The critical role of due diligence

Securing a solid IP foundation for business growth.

For innovative companies, practicing due diligence provides a clear picture and understanding of intellectual property rights and obligations. Most important is a company’s ability to have an accurate assessment of the ownership of their IP rights, and their overall value — whether in terms of monetization or as a competitive strength.

Due diligence is a key priority for companies at all stages of maturity – from early-stage companies seeking venture capital (VC) investments or preparing for an initial public offering (IPO), to established companies seeking to sell or acquire technology through mergers and acquisitions (M&A), or to mature companies looking to optimize or re-organize IP assets on the balance sheet.

Smart & Biggar’s highly skilled team of lawyers and patent agents approach due diligence with a view towards developing effective strategies that integrate and align IP plans with business plans, to secure and strengthen a client’s patent portfolio and maximize value and competitive strength.

Due diligence: Realize the value of IP

We advise and guide clients on all aspects of IP due diligence, including: accurately documenting the existence of IP in the business; assessing the validity and enforceability of IP rights owned or licensed by a company; evaluating the chain of title (ownership) of the IP and possible encumbrances; and assessing the potential risks and protection issues related to company know-how, “trade secrets” and non-registered rights, such as copyright.

Our lawyers also regularly advise clients on contracts or contractual obligations involving IP rights such as the scope of IP warranties and indemnities. We stay on the cutting edge of changing IP laws with the legal expertise and depth of technical knowledge to conduct meticulous freedom-to-operate analyses and exhaustive investigations of ownership, scope, enforceability and validity of patents.

Services you can expect from us in this area:

  • Conducting IP audits
  • Assessment of ownership/transferability
  • Licensing and manufacturing agreements
  • Technology transfer and confidentiality agreements
  • Review of commercial agreements and related IP issues
  • Assessment of scope, validity and enforceability of IP portfolios
  • Patent clearances and freedom to operate advice
  • Acquisition, divestment or financing counselling
  • Investigation of IP disputes
  • Infringement and validity of rights investigations and reports

Key Contacts