Audit provisions are a common feature of a wide range of IP and technology agreements. They can be seen by those seeking the audit right as a practical way to monitor key aspects of a commercial deal. Security standards being applied to data, accuracy of billing, compliance with licence restrictions or, in some cases, general compliance with the agreed contract are often the subject of audit rights.
The general compliance audit right seems useful on the face of it. But a recent English High Court decision illustrates that a broad audit clause can raise more questions than it answers.