Crowell & Moring launches intellectual property self-check app

“Belgian companies often don't know how much intellectual property they own,” says Jan-Diederik Lindemans of Crowell & Moring

Law firm Crowell & Moring recently launched a new app that helps companies spot the risks involved in how they deal with their intellectual property (IP). Many companies still underestimate the value of their IP and do not know how to protect it. Crowell & Moring's automated self-check app helps business leaders and their lawyers think critically about their IP portfolio.

When it comes to protecting IP, most companies and lawyers immediately think of patents. But in fact, companies often have plenty of other valuable IP in-house that cannot be protected by patents alone. For instance, brands, graphic creations, market research and even in-house work processes can all give the company an edge over its rivals.

According to law firm Crowell & Moring, many Belgian companies, and even corporate lawyers, underestimate the value of their intellectual property. To that end, the firm is launching IP Check-Up, an automated self-check app that companies and corporate lawyers can use to get a quick and free initial overview of any IP risks the company might be running. Until now, business leaders wanting this kind of service have typically had to commission expensive, time-consuming audits, and this has had a significant deterrent effect.

“Many businesses today simply do not realize they possess valuable information that not only must be protected, but can also be exploited. At the same time, IP is a very complex area that companies, investors and corporate lawyers – whether in larger companies or SMEs – are not always fully versed in," says Judith Bussé, Crowell & Moring.

“Globalisation and digitalisation mean there are more and more competitors out there. We want to make it as easy as possible for companies to think about their IP and how they can protect it, or better protect it, or even exploit it financially,” adds Jan-Diederik Lindemans, Crowell & Moring.

Useful for both SMEs and large companies

Crowell & Moring's online app gauges the company's industry, its key competitors, how the company markets its products, and whether or not the company possesses sensitive information that should not be shared publicly. Based on the respondent's answers, the app produces an automated initial assessment of the IP risks the company is running.

According to Crowell & Moring, both large and small companies can benefit from a critical analysis of their intellectual property. SMEs often do not yet have the legal expertise or experience to take stock of and protect their IP. On the other hand, while larger companies often have larger legal departments, they also operate in a much more complex arena, especially if they are active internationally, where different IP regimes can conflict with each other.

Crowell & Moring's self-check app is completely free and accessible online.

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