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Patent Due Diligence in M&A Transactions

By Jeffrey D. Morton

Intellectual property assets, such as registered patent rights, are routinely becoming a more substantial component of a company’s overall value when a merger or acquisition (“M&A”) transaction is being contemplated. While traditional due diligence, as performed for bricks-and-mortar-type assets, offers a template from which to consider patent due diligence, there are intricacies in patent law that require a more nuanced approach to uncover the pitfalls or hidden value in patent rights that are being sold or purchased. The purpose of this article is to highlight a few key issues that should be considered when patents are part of an M&A transaction.