Are you a tech startup seeking funding or an established business looking for a buyer? If so, keep reading for a tip to help save you and your business time, money, and a headache during the process. Tip: Get your Confidentiality and Inventions Assignment Agreements ("CIAA") in place long before that investor or buyer walks through the door.
One of the many diligence requests in a funding round or acquisition is for copies of CIAAs that have been signed by those parties (ex. employees, consultants, advisors) who have contributed to the development of the intellectual property of the company. In many instances, the target company does not have these in place or has only obtained a portion of the agreements needed. When an investor or buyer hears this they immediately question does the company actually own all of the IP it has created?
Investors and buyers do not want to proceed with a transaction if this is a concern. To alleviate the concern, they will typically require the company to go out and obtain confirmatory assignments from the applicable parties who have not previously signed one. This is where the time, money, and headache comes in as all parties involved work to remedy this item in order to close the desired transaction. So to avoid adding one more step to your funding round or business sale, remember those CIAAs!