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The statement: “We just want to look into the ownership of company X’s patents and then maybe assign them over after the deal” seems fairly innocuous. But, anyone who has ever worked through a due diligence exercise or even just been asked to assign a few IP assets from A to B knows that IP ownership can get difficult quickly.
One particular issue is whether it’s possible to trust the public record. Is the IP asset owned by company A or did they assign it away at some point in the past to company C who just hasn’t gotten round to updating the register?
This potential lack of accuracy in patent records is now being addressed by the ORoPO project which is a free and open register of patent ownership. (more…)