Report: Sharing the Intangibles

Published on
July 22, 2020

In our second IP Strategy Report, we discuss the optimal allocation, ownership, and exploitation of intangible assets by parties to a collaborative engagement. 

Clearly structured ownership can help parties retain the value of pre-existing IP and enhance the value of resultant IP assets. This report provides a starting point for structuring the joint ownership, control or exploitation of IP assets by surveying a few key strategies.

Key Takeaways

  • When entering a collaborative engagement and drafting a collaboration agreement, parties should be mindful of how they intend to handle the ownership of relevant IP assets.
  • Three starting points for a joint ownership structure are presented: common law or statute-derived joint ownership; contractually modified joint ownership; and joint ownership through a special purpose vehicle.
  • In choosing a joint ownership structure, parties are effectively balancing two forms of complexity: the complexity of the structure itself and the complexity of the resulting legal relationship between the parties. 
  • Parties can make informed decisions on ownership structure by considering the volume and form of IP assets in play, the available resources of the parties, and the general complexity of the collaboration, among other considerations.
  • Once a framework for joint ownership is established, the parties should make adjacent decisions regarding disclosure obligations, confidentiality, compensation mechanisms, and use permissions.

Click here to view the full PDF version of the report.

Feel like you’re jumping into the middle of something? In our previous IP Strategy Report, we discussed the importance of executing a collaboration agreement that addresses relevant intellectual property rights as a first step in any collaborative engagement. Check it out here.

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