Letter assigning intellectual property rights to a business (or limited company)

What’s a letter assigning intellectual property rights to a business (or a limited company) and when should you use it?


An IP assignment is a contract that transfers ownership of intellectual property from one person or organisation to another.

This template is designed to transfer all intellectual property from an individual or a company to your business.

The assignee may be an employee, director, shareholder or consultant who are joining the business or have recently joined the business.

It helps ensure that all rights in any intellectual property pass to the company and no rights are retained by anyone outside the business.

You should not delay in the assignment of intellectual property, and we would advise that any assignment is made at the earliest opportunity, but preferably at the same time that the assignee becomes an employee, director, shareholder or contractor.

IP can take many different forms, from software code to product recipes, process formulae, key operational know-how, written records, sound or video recordings, details of patents, drawings and designs, logos, slogans, packaging and advertising materials, all of your brand identity and trademarks, etc…

The list is long.

Take a look at our introductory guide to intellectual property and make sure you’re responsibly protecting what you’ve created and what’s key to your operations.

This guide will unlock other areas that you can choose to delve into in more detail if you wish.


Why is it done by deed?


Deeds are contracts, but they have more exacting signature provisions, incorporating witnesses of signatures, which means they tend to be used in certain circumstances where a straightforward contract would be considered insufficient.

The point of including the witnesses is to make clear, unequivocally, that both the signing parties fully understood what they were signing and that they intended to agree to the terms set out in the deed.

Powers of attorney, transfers of property and other valuable items will usually be done by way of a deed.

An assignment of intellectual property in business is also a situation where a deed is considered most appropriate to evidence that such a valuable transfer of property from the seller to the buyer was indeed fully intended.

If you’re taking on one or more directors, you’ll need a director’s service contract template.

Investors will require a shareholder agreement.

Our guide on when you should consider the assignment of intellectual property will help you decide if an assignment is required.

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