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IP Due Diligence Germany

We identify intellectual property risks of your targeted company

Analyzing and evaluating a company’s intellectual property (IP) rights in the context of restructuring, M&A, and corporate acquisitions, is a crucial endeavor. To conduct proper transactions, it is necessary to take a closer look at the intellectual property of the transferring company. Lawyers who are experienced in intellectual property law should make a specific analysis and evaluation of the IP before the planned transaction, commonly referred to  as IP due diligence.

Checklist for an IP due diligence evaluation

To conduct an adequate  IP due diligence examination, please provide us with the following information/documents:

1. List of all

  • Patents (including software)
  • Designs
  • Utility Models
  • Trademarks and Service Marks
  • Copyrights (including software)

the transferring company uses or owns. Please also submit a list of all applications made for registration of the above-mentioned intellectual property rights (with registration / application numbers and information regarding the protection period and geographic scope of the respective IP protection).

2. Know-How: Documents to assess the know-how of the transferring company. In what manner has this knowledge been kept secret until now? To whom  has the know-how been revealed so far?

3. Licensing agreements pertaining to intellectual property, software or know-how (e.g. to manufacturing processes), regardless of whether the transferring company is the licensor or the licensee in these licensing agreements.

4. Other relevant documentation about the intellectual property rights as mentioned under sec. 1.

5. Information about opposition and cancellation proceedings (if any) against the intellectual property rights listed above under sec. 1.

6. Description of pending or imminent proceedings (if any) against the transferring company with regard to the infringement of intellectual property rights or copyrights.
Analyzing and Evaluating  the intellectual property rights of the transferring company is often labor-intensive – but will eventually pay off. The better documented the IP is, the more value it usually provides. For more details, please contact us for an individual consultation.

Full Scope or Red Flag IP Due Diligence?

There is no standard approach for IP due diligences. Whereas big M&A transactions typically require an in-depth analysis of the target´s legal situation, medium-sized M&A deals oftentimes require a quick and immediate due diligence approach, identifying the most important risks. Such a due diligence is called a red flag legal due diligence. Mostly, a red flag due diligence makes sense at the beginning of a transaction. During that time, it is still uncertain whether the interested buyer will indeed buy the target or whether he decides to stop negotiating with the vendor. Such a red flag IP due diligence usually identifies the most risky issues. Such "dealbreakers" can have a strong impact on the purchase price.

Contrary, a full scope IP due diligence goes much deeper into details. It intends to identify and to comment on all relevant IP risks. Typically, a full scope IP due diligence ends in a comprehensive full scope IP due diligence report, whereas the results of a red flag IP due diligence are written in a more concisely manner.

Both types of IP due diligence reports should not only identify risks but also propose practicable solutions on how to minimize the risks for the buyer.

Your German IP due diligence attorney

Your contact persons for the analysis and evaluation of intellectual property and IP due diligence are Attorney Olga Stepanova (Certified Specialist for Intellectual Property Law) as well as Attorney Patricia Jechel. You can contact us by e-mail ( or by phone (+49 (0)69 76 75 77 80).


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We congratulate our colleagues, Olga and Philipp, on the newly awarded specialist titles of specialization.


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WINHELLER is represented by three lawyers in the 2021 Best Lawyers Ranking.





Juve AwardLegal 500 Germany 2019
azur100: Top Employer for Lawyers 2021


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