Investor Readiness and IP – owner consistency

The purpose of everything that we do in Pekama is to help companies manage their IP like other business assets – in a clever, data-driven way.

Part of managing IP like a business asset is keeping it in an ongoing investor-ready shape. The IP should always be ready for the next round of funding. When you are dealing with investors, the last thing that you want to do is tidy up your IP and keeping it tidy is the way to go. In a series of quick articles, we will stress out some of the things that we look at in this context.

One of the things that ALWAYS comes up in due diligence is a warranty that the entity receiving the money is the owner of the IP. The entire attention of founders and lawyers tend to focus on making sure that inventors assigned their rights to a company.

What is frequently missed out is inconsistencies in how the names of the companies actually used. For example, there is an enormous amount of cases filed on behalf of limited companies that miss the suffix “Ltd.” or incorporated corporations in the US that miss out the Inc. (or similar suffixes). Equally, some companies (A.B.C. Limited) get other types of name changes (ABC Limited or ABC Ltd or ABC L.T.D.).

This may seem like a minor issue, but it is not. A company has only one legal name. If it is not the name that it used in its patent, trademark, design and utility model applications, this could be quite significant. Savvy investors will not want to invest in a company that doesn’t actually own the IP, it may be impossible to enforce rights that are not owned by the entity that enforces them and in extreme cases, signatures from inventors may be needed and the inventors may have by then left the company and now refuse to sign. Wrong names can spell large issues and this is more common than you may think!

We use our own home-grown technology to bring all the IP to one place and one of the first things that we do is look at applicant name. Typically, we can sense problems already when we type a name and the auto-complete shows us more than one result. Obviously, for large companies, we are quite used to that…

Ping us (ip@pekama.com) if you want to see how to use our tech to check that your company names are in good order!

Zeev Fisher

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