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IP Advisory

Shaping the future: Embracing the power of intangibles

We operate in an intangible economy, where net intangible assets represent almost 60% of ASX value and 90% of Nasdaq value, yet the balance sheets of companies show a very limited range of these valuable assets. There are global moves to include broader intangible asset reporting. Until that time, it is up to the boards and executive management to put appropriate focus, governance and investment into intangible assets.

Technology, brands and data have become dominant value drivers. These intangible assets are pivotal to competitive advantage and have massive upside potential, but they are complex and can be vulnerable. Value misjudgements can result in squandered opportunities, impairments and erosion of market share. The days of tech, data and brands being the domain of specific sectors are over. This is reflected in business terminology: agritech, biotech, fintech, fueltech, infratech, miningtech, nanotech and proptech (to name a few). Across industries, IP assets are used as both disruptive weapons and shields to protect competitive advantage. The key drivers of digital transformation, energy transition and sustainability are intangible assets.

Effective M&A, strategy, tax planning and risk management require visibility of the strength and value of IP assets. Yet most companies have poor governance systems for tech, data and brand assets. Deloitte’s IP Advisory services specialise in helping companies to quantify, govern, manage and commercialise IP assets. Specialist rating and valuation tools provide visibility of the economics of tech, brands and data assets - supporting defensible and insightful valuations and advice that optimises asset value and enterprise value. Through Deloitte’s multi-disciplinary model, we offer a 360° view of IP assets (“IP360”) by combining strategy, governance, valuation, tax, legal and other capabilities to meet client needs.

There are two compelling reasons for IP assets to be on the board agenda:

  • tech, brand and data assets are core assets of most organisations in a variety of industries
  • execution of corporate strategies and growth initiatives is highly dependent on the development, awareness of, and appropriate protection of intangible assets
  • directors' duties of care and diligence do not distinguish between asset categories. Despite this, many boards receive few meaningful IP metrics.

Deloitte carries out stress tests of IP asset governance to help boards assess the adequacy of their procedures regarding:

  • alignment of IP asset strategy with corporate strategy
  • the creation and capture of differentiating technology
  • protection and risk management of tech, brand and data assets
  • IP transactions and IP centric M&A
  • management and board reporting - tech, data and brand metrics
  • development and implemention of governance frameworks
  • Board and C-Suite training.

Brand advisory

Despite the economic contribution of brands, most organisations are unable to track the brand value added by – or at risk from – corporate actions. The absence of value-based brand metrics compromises brand strategy, risk management and enterprise value. Deloitte's brand value optimisation services combine scenario valuations, ratings and dashboard to help clients:

  • evaluate brand architecture
  • evaluate customer experience
  • compare the value impact of strategic options
  • track brand performance
  • assess the return on brand investment

Where clients require creative and brand strategy support, we collaborate with brand specialists in Deloitte Digital.

Optimising tech value

Deloitte's IP360 tools provide a commercial lens for the development of strategies that optimise tech value through effective monetisation and risk management. Our team has the technical, IP and commercial capabilities to evaluate tech assets and to develop and implement value enhancing strategies. Applications include:

  • assessing alternative monetisation strategies
  • patent portfolio management
  • R&D budget setting and allocation
  • performance tracking

Data optimisation

Deloitte's data evaluation tools are used to assess the current value of data assets and to identify opportunities to improve the quality, protection and monetisation. Where applicable, our IP Advisory team collaborate with Deloitte Consulting’s Data & AI specialists.

IP structuring

Traditionally, companies have devoted much more attention to managing tangible assets than intangible assets. This often results in cluttered IP portfolios with disparate ownership and management structures. At the other end of the spectrum, some companies have specialist subsidiaries with full responsibility for capturing, protecting and monetising IP. There is no universal 'best' structure, however, depending on your commercial circumstances, the impact of alternative approaches can be significant.

Deloitte has the integrated IP legal, commercial and tax capabilities to develop value optimising IP ownership and management structures.

IP licensing and royalty determination

By extending IP into new applications and regions, effective licensing strategies can generate incremental earnings or be the main revenue /p profit driver for a company. However, successful licensing programs require robust IP governance, targeted licensee selection, well-balanced contracts and appropriate royalty pricing.

Deloitte provides the following licensing services:

  • Quantification of the strength and licensing potential of IP portfolios
  • Scenario valuations to evaluate the attractiveness of alternative monetisation strategies
  • Scans of IP and licensing landscapes to prioritises target markets and licensees
  • Determination of appropriate upfront fees, milestone payments and ongoing royalty mechanisms
  • Preparation of information memorandums that articulate the strength of the licensed IP
  • For licensees, we appraise the reasonableness of proposed royalty mechanisms and licensing terms.

The IP Advisory team's in-depth understanding of the IP landscape and IP economics supports robust royalty opinions for litigation and transfer pricing.

IP in collaborations and joint ventures

IP is often co-created through collaborations and joint ventures . We help clients think through the best structure and approach to IP so that the collaboration or joint venture is successful and protects the company interests.  We can also help ensure that co-developed IP is identified, captured and monetised.

Our IP value advisory specialists conduct robust and insightful valuation of technology, brand, data and businesses that are reliant on intangible assets. Our valuations integrate the functional, legal and financial characteristics of intangible assets and are used for M&A planning; financial reporting;  tax compliance;  fund raising; litigation and value optimisation.

Brand Valuation

Deloitte uses a Brand Rating process to gauge the earnings potential and risk profile of brands through an integrated assessment of brand equity, brand performance and legal protection. As a result, our brand valuations not only provide an understanding of current brand value, but also a better line-of-sight between company actions, stakeholder attitudes, market performance and earnings.

Where required, we assess the relative importance of registered trademarks, copyright and common law rights in protecting brand equity and value.

Data asset valuation

Databases can generate value through improved product design, more relevant marketing or operational efficiency. The resulting demand and cost benefits can generate substantial value, but the mere existence of data does not imply a valuable asset.

To inform database valuations, and advise clients on strategies to optimise value, Deloitte gauges the commercial utility of data through a rating process that assesses measures of data quality, uniqueness, replication complexity, protection and restrictions in use.

Tech valuations

Despite the opportunities and risks posed by innovative technology, many companies and investors struggle to gauge the economic potential of tech assets, because tech valuations require an integrated understanding of:

  • tech utility and differentiation
  • protection provided by patents, designs, trade secrets and copyright
  • dynamics of the target market
  • the resulting financial benefits

Our valuations are informed by the Deloitte Tech Rating, which gauges an asset's earnings potential and risk profile. Ratings are based on an assessment of over 40 sub-measures, the inputs to which include patent analytics, tech benchmarks, royalty analysis, market research and financial data.

Valuation of early-stage businesses and enterprises reliant on intangible assets

The speed of development in technology, and changes in consumer behaviour in the digital economy are having a fundamental impact on competitive landscapes. Some business valuation metrics and methods can be misleading if applied without an understanding of the quality of the underlying intangible assets.

Deloitte uses intangible value flowcharting to gauge the contributions and connection of an organisation's intangible assets in driving demand and efficiencies. Where applicable we then apply rating tools to gauge the commercial strength of tech, data and brand assets. The resulting understanding of an enterprises asset base provides the building blocks for insightful and defensible valuation opinions and scenario analysis.

Deloitte has a successful track record of advising clients on the buy side and sell side at all stages of a variety of IP transactions.  We excel at assessing opportunities and risks as well as establishing market positioning of IP assets for successful deal execution. By offering a deep understanding of the value and market relevance of intellectual assets, Deloitte helps clients strategically select assets to sell, buy or license and then helps execute outreach, price negotiations through to closing and beyond.

Deloitte’s unparalleled market reach coupled with proven proprietary analytics and mining techniques enable us to identify IP assets primed for monetisation or acquisition. This allows us to consistently bring to market, or to buy-side clients, high-quality assets that consistently result in attractive transactions to all market participants.

IP scouting and Portfolio mining

We provide a rigorous technical and market review of patents and other IP assets to articulate the advantages and any disadvantages of the subject IP, including breadth of patent claims, ease of design-around, ease of detection, likelihood of the patented technologies being implemented in third party products, feasibility of effecting a technology transfer and the likely price range for the IP assets.

This rigorous IP diligence process provides a strategic view of the risks and opportunities tied to each transaction. This includes ensuring all information is presented correctly and potential risks are identified prior to the execution of the transaction.

  • Market opportunity assessment and feasibility
  • Evidence of use
  • Marketing preparation
  • IP due diligence
  • Licensing and tech transfer strategy design
  • Pricing and ROI analysis

IP Legal

Deloitte Legal provides a broad range of IP solutions, from classic legal services, such as contract drafting, IP due diligence and dispute resolution, to versatile IP advisory, such as strategic consulting and IP management solutions, including automated tools.

Our team includes experienced lawyers who work alongside tech specialists and legal professionals with backgrounds in economics.

We provide a range of legal advisory and other services, including:

  • IP Discovery and Inventory
  • IP Due Diligence and Risk Assessment
  • IP Management – strategy and business processes
  • Know-How and Protection of Commercial Secrets
  • IP Sales, Purchase Licensing and Tech Transfers
  • IP Licensing
  • Legal Support Related to IP Tax Implications and Benefits (including taxation of e-services)

IP Tax Advisory

Deloitte’s intellectual property tax teams work with you to assess compliance with current regulations and to clarify the potential consequences and opportunities afforded by your organisation’s IP and intangibles management. We navigate the international tax landscape and implement processes to assess current IP use as well as potential dispositions. Our emphasis is to create value by harmonising IP management and tax strategies.