Home : About Us :commun-iT blog  

commun-iT blog

Are you investor/sale ready? Part 1 - IP and other goodies

Friday, June 22, 2012

If your end game is to interest an investor in your business or to sell your business, think about putting in place systems now to ensure you achieve the best possible outcome.
Successful sales don’t just happen.  As with many things in life, from passing an exam to baking a cake, preparation is everything!  Attention to detail will highlight your success not problems.  The earlier you get your affairs in order, the easier it will be to maintain your records and be investor/sale ready.
This 2 part blog looks at some of the issues you need to be thinking about now if you want to sell your business or take on an investor in the future.  This blog focuses on your most important assets – IP and confidential information.  The second blog is about record keeping - I see you yawning but it is important!

IP is the life blood

For most companies, especially those in the technology industry, intellectual property is the foundation of the value of the business. Your ability to show an audit trail of the creation of your IP could be critical to finding an investor or buyer or obtaining the best price. 

Some tips to track and protect your IP:

  • keep a register of all individuals (employees and contractors) involved in developing your IP and what specifically they have developed - an excel spreadsheet is better than nothing!
  • have watertight employment contracts
  • get all contractors to assign all IP they create to you in writing
  • obtain moral rights consents from all developers
  • if you incorporate licensed third party IP (including open source software), keep records of this and the licence agreements applicable
  • ensure that any third party licences allow you to commercialise your IP without restrictions
  • be aware of any restrictions on the use of the third party IP
  • record and register any trade marks you use to differentiate your products or services – make sure you check the availability of a trade mark before you use it to ensure you are not infringing.

Are your secrets safe?

  • make sure that any person accessing your IP, confidential or proprietary information (trade secrets) is under strict obligations of non-disclosure that are evidenced in writing.  Trying to put these in place retrospectively can be extremely problematic and sends a worrying signal to a potential investor/buyer 
  • only share company information with a potential investor/buyer once a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement is in place
  • have a clear policy about the proper use of trade secrets and make sure your people are aware of it
  • clearly mark information “confidential” when it is
  • maintain strict controls over your trade secrets to ensure they are not accessed by unauthorised people or inadvertently disclosed.

Pym’s Technology Lawyers has assisted many companies with preparing for sale and capital raisings including doing due diligence, shareholders’ agreements and IP protection. 

Author: Peta Maloney, Director, Pym’s Technology Lawyers. A member of the Panel of Expert Bloggers on commun-iT and an expert on www.aiia.biz.
Disclaimer: This is general information only. It is not legal advice, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Specific advice should be sought to take into account your particular circumstances. Pym’s Technology Lawyers Pty Ltd is a specialist IT and commercial law firm. It has liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

Trackback Link
Post has no trackbacks.

Subscribe to the commun-iT blog RSS

 Recent Posts


R&D tax Credit SME IT Forum Gold Coast Division 7A small business owners Confidential information contractual obligations Peter Nolle Peta Maloney term deposit Regulation 90 superannuation discounted travel industrial action PAAS www.aiia.biz Survey data Maat Solutions Consumer Law employment contract Win an iPad 2 ASIC government procurement Fair Work Commission loans fraudulent refunds moral right Balance Professional Services copyright employment agreements Discounted Deals IT capability directory Compulsory Employer Superannuation Civil Aviation Regulations Contracting Gold Coast ICT Forum IT Professionals Capability Study 2011 Superannuation Guarantee withholding rates confidentiality clause Research and Development Tax Credit Agreements PAYG 2020 restraint of trade clause IT Law Tax Corporate and Commercial Law Databases award Australian Information Industry Assocation SAAS Greg Pearce selling your business Queensland State Government Sham Board of Taxation Greg Tomkins Alex Bodnar fuel tax credits Innovation Australia: AusIndustry Independent flood insurance Centennial Financial Services Treadstone Research and Development Tax Hotel IT Lawyer unpaid work managed services compliance Fair Work Ombudsman Australian Business Register open source National Employment Standards Professional Idemnity Living Away from Home Allowance IP restraint distribution agreement sick leave adverse action IT Contracts Law leave loading eServices Fair Work Australia employment law David Scott Guide individuals unfair dismissal breach of employment contract natural disaster Tours Michael Blumenstein patent Software R&D Tax Mike Pym company tax small business ICT capability study Procure IT ABN Insurance Advisernet Nick Stevens Tax rates IAAS Panel of Expert Bloggers Clerical and Administrative Employees (State) Award Software Research and Development Tax, Advanced Findings benchmarking ATO 12 percent personal services income fines Contractor Falsify AIIA Employment underpayment Benefits Government Grants Supply Management Fee Matthew Karpanen Insurance tax law director duties broker Free Basic Listing Financial Planning AIIA.biz warranty against defects Payment Summaries employers AUSkey Pym's Technology Lawyers ITFGC Travel GST Stevens and Associates indemnity Fair Work Regulations Compliance Program Federal Court of Australia termination Australian Workplace Agreements enterprise agreement reseller warranties Information gathering dividends Fair Work Act breach of implied terms Fringe Benefit personal income tax employee NES


    Our Expert Bloggers

    Mike Pym

    Mike is an entrepreneur and lawyer who leads two SMEs, one in the IT software industry, and a firm of lawyers specialising in IT law.

    Peta Maloney

    Company and commercial law, shareholder agreements, constitutions, directors’ duties, setting up companies, IT contracts, outsourcing, government procurement and privacy.

    Peter Nolle

    Government Grants from start up to export ready

    Alex Bodnar

    General insurance advisory for commercial & industrial risks, 
    Information Technology & Telecommunication exposures. 

    David Scott

    Investments, Superannuation,
    Life Insurance, Income Protection Insurance, Key Person Insurance, Debt Management, Gearing,
    Retirement Planning

    Mike Pym

    IT contracts, government procurement of IT, distribution agreements, outsourcing, contract management & dispute resolution.

    Nick Stevens

    Enterprise Agreements,
    Employment Contracts,
    Unfair Dismissal, EEO, 
    Workplace Surveillance & Privacy, OH&S

    Industry Associations



    Maat Solutions Pty Ltd
    Level 6, 60 Pitt Street
    Sydney NSW Australia

    T: +61 (02) 9247 9459
    F: +61 (02) 9247 9550

    Captcha Image