IP audit is an important business tool, which helps to:

·better identify and monitor the whole intellectual asset portfolio: by clarifying which intangible assets are owned, used or non-used and verifying the owners of these assets

·better secure the IP: by suggesting the most applicable and effective ways to protect the IP assets owned

·effectively exploit the IP: by showing whether the IP is efficiently exploited and by revealing the not used and/or underused IP assets

·set up an effective IP administration structure: by providing guidance for the development of sound and elaborated IP management

·make the IP strategy align with the business strategy: by highlighting possible inconsistencies between the IP strategy and the business targets

·determine the value of IP assets: by assisting in valuation of IP assets to discover the existing value of the company

·foresee and manage possible future risks: by determining whether the company’s IP assets are infringing the rights of others or others are infringing on rights held by the company

·reduce costs: by enabling a reduction in maintenance costs for obsolete IP assets and by helping to avoid costly and tedious court actions for possible infringement cases

·nurture inventiveness and creativity: by building up innovation support mechanisms and encouraging IP creation within the businesses