IP is important, but ultimately I’m going to say it is HR DD. Developers are a unique bunch of people as anyone can attest. Retaining the key developers is more important arguably than the IP, but it is a very difficult task (and expensive).
I believe that when you acquire technology then the IP DD is crucial as you need to verify that no contractor/developer will claim copyrights of the IP and that the technology unique characteristics are protected.
I think we have to also evaluate the commercial viability of the IP. Researchers can file many patents and protect their IP but if they are not able to commercialise and exploit the advantages and benefits of the IP, the tech startup would not be as valuable too.
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