Another important element for the merger team to understand is if key inventors are still with the company. An easy way to visualize this is shown in the “Key Inventors” figure. In this figure the patent in application count for each inventor is rank ordered. As part of the due diligence process it’s necessary to check with HR to make sure that the top 10% of the inventors are still present and would be happy with employment with the merger. These inventors may be crucial to the merger and the ability to continue to innovate and/or pass on know-how is a crucial negotiation factor.