Safeguarding Assets: The Strategic Role of IP in M&A Deals

In the contemporary commercial landscape, intellectual property assumes an indispensable role for enterprises, irrespective of their sector or scale of operation.

Indeed, intellectual property rights stand as a cornerstone in safeguarding a company’s competitiveness, prosperity, and enduring existence, exerting a substantial influence on its overall worth.

These rights pertain to intangible assets, encompassing trademarks, patents, intellectual property, trade secrets, and proprietary knowledge.

Today, more than ever, these rights are regarded as exceedingly valuable corporate assets, underscoring the imperative nature of their protection and accurate assessment during Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) transactions.

In recent years, the landscape of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) has been marked by notable figures, particularly within the technology sector. This phenomenon is attributable to the swift and ongoing advancements occurring within this domain.

Nevertheless, M&A activities, both generally and within the technology sector specifically, present distinct challenges concerning the management of intellectual property rights.

At a time when innovation is at the heart of business growth, intellectual property rights are becoming increasingly critical to the success and competitiveness of companies. The ability to effectively protect and exploit these assets can make the difference between the success and failure of a transaction.

Consequently, a pivotal aspect of corporate transactions lies in the assessment of the monetary worth of IP rights. To achieve this, undertaking meticulous due diligence becomes imperative to mitigate, albeit partially, the informational asymmetry inherent between the involved parties.

It is only after the completion of due diligence that both the purchaser and the target company can ascertain the genuine worth of the intellectual property assets implicated in the transaction. Consequently, this assessment extends to the valuation of the company to which these assets pertain.

Typically, the valuation of intellectual property assets hinges upon two primary methods:

  1. Income Method: according to this method, the value of the asset depends on the profit expected from it. This method is normally used with assets that have positive and reliable cash flows.
  2. Market Price Method: under this method, the asset is valued by comparing it with the price of similar assets on the market, under comparable circumstances.

Once the due diligence is complete, the parties will have to proceed with the negotiation of specific clauses determining the value of the assets in question, as well as the rights and obligations of each party, including guarantees on the validity and exclusivity of IP rights.

Ultimately, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are typically negotiated to safeguard and ensure the confidentiality and security of intellectual property information that the involved parties come across during the transaction process.

Once the parties have agreed on the value, terms, and security to protect the transfer of the IP rights, the transaction can be finalized – subject to any further agreements between the parties necessary to complete the acquisition or merger.

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D’Andrea & Partners Legal Counsel and PHC Advisory Tax & Accounting (a DP Group company) offer assistance and consultancy services in the legal and tax fields. For any inquiries, please contact us at:

The above contents are provided for information purposes only. The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between DP Group and the reader and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case.

Valentina Pica Valentina Pica

Valentina Pica

Junior Associate
Valentina Pica, a Junior Associate at D'Andrea & Partners Legal Counsel, is a based in Milan

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