How are due diligence investigations conducted?
In the instance of developing a new product, we will identify the features of the new product, and we’ll search for those features and develop a patent landscape. So we’ll identify what patents in this area … either by technology area or that their competitors hold … could potentially read on or infringe with these desired features.
If we identify potentially problematic patents, we can go through and either clear them … So we determine whether or not they do or actually do pose a problem. And if they do, we can do a validity analysis. In that instance, we’ll look at the status of the patent, its prosecution, and figure out the likelihood that it could successfully be asserted against our client’s product.
Oftentimes, the client will come to us, and they’ll have a new technology they’re trying to develop. We’ll investigate the landscape of technology in that area to see if that is an area they can actually get into without running afoul of either a competitor’s patent or a non-practicing entity or some other patent that they’re unaware of.
When we conduct a due diligence investigation, first we’ll do a search of all of the competitors and identify potentially threatening patents or adverse intellectual property in this area. And we’ll scan through those patents and pick out any potential problematic patents or ones that could potentially pose a risk to our client. In addition, we can also identify patents that are suitable for purchase. So maybe they’re not owned by competitors, but they’re owned by solo inventors or other entities who may be willing to sell or license that technology to our clients. But we would present them with an opinion that outlines these risks and allows them to make the ultimate decision on whether or not they want to proceed.