Licensing and Royalty Audits
The licensing of assets, such as trademarks, proprietary processes, copyrights and other intellectual property, have become a dominant source of revenue for many businesses. While licensing agreements forge powerful revenue-generating relationships, they do require consistent and periodic review to verify that licensees adhere to contractual terms and licensors receive accurate payments.
Licensing and Royalty Audits and Inspections Expertise
Miller Kaplan Arase LLP conducts licensing and royalty audits for individuals and companies. Our clients include market leaders in the automotive, software development, semiconductor, consumer products and flash memory industries, as well as entertainers and artists. Our experience includes such products and industry areas such as:
- Consumer Products
- Film and Television
- Live Theater
Our partners are authors of a chapter on licensing audits and accounting in the book, Basics of Licensing: How to Extend Brand and Entertainment Properties for Profit, as well as a chapter in the licensee edition. We are invited to speak by International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association (LIMA), California Bar Association and at other industry-sponsored programs. We also provide continuing legal education (MCLE) on the subject of licensing to law firms.
Miller Kaplan’s licensing and royalty audits have uncovered hundreds of millions of dollars in underpayments owed to our clients. Often the underpayments we discover exceed the cost of a royalty audit, and frequently the expense is borne by the licensee.
Value-Added Perspectives for Licensing Agreements
When we are called upon to review contractual provisions prior to the execution of a licensing agreement, Miller Kaplan’s guidance has proven particularly valuable.
Our financial perspective during negotiations considers the objectives of the licensing program, agreement provisions, due diligence procedures, internal controls and monitoring structures to strengthen the accuracy of a licensee’s royalty reporting.
Licensing and Royalty Audits with Business Integrity
Since we began offering licensing and royalty services in the 1980s, Miller Kaplan has become known for striking the effective balance between audit accuracy and preserving the integrity of the licensee-licensor relationship.
Miller Kaplan seeks to avoid the disruptions audits commonly trigger by emphasizing open communication, efficient investigation methods, audit planning, and cost effectiveness. Our staff is highly trained in cutting through and handling the “mounds of data,” both electronic and paper, involved with licensing and royalty audits.
When identifying how a company’s accounting and reporting systems interface, we cross-reference the terms of license agreements with royalty accountings and identify discrepancies that are commonly overlooked. Our ability to determine areas of omission is as significant to our clients’ bottom line as the practices and payments we do uncover.
Profit Participation Audits and Entertainment Royalty Audits
Miller Kaplan’s location in the center of Hollywood production makes us a convenient and trusted resource for entertainment and media clients.
We have worked with entertainers looking to verify their profit participation percentages, musicians auditing their music companies for unpaid royalties, and interactive game developers inspecting license fees due from publishers. When an audit engagement calls for expanded support, we confer with our partners for the required expertise, and we work seamlessly with our clients’ affiliated professionals including attorneys and financial advisors.
Customs Enforcement Administration
Our well-established and highly effective customs enforcement administration services helps clients protect their trademarks, and other IP assets covered by licensing agreements, from abuse by counterfeiters and fraudulent use worldwide.