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Assigning (buying and selling) IP

Trading IP

Assigning (buying and selling) IP


An assignment occurs when IP is transferred from its existing owner (called an assignor), to a new owner (called an assignee).

This can occur when:

  • IP is bought and sold
  • IP created by a contractor (such as a software engineer or design consultant) is transferred by the contractor to the contractor’s customer
  • IP created by a contract research organisation is transferred by it to its customer.

Another common way that IP can effectively be bought and sold is by acquiring a company which owns an IP, instead of acquiring the IP itself. By acquiring the company, the acquirer effectively acquires the company’s IP as well.

Such an acquisition can occur when companies merge, or when one company takes over another company.