Intellectual Property is an intangible asset, the result of intellectual creation and effort. Intellectual Property Rights are the rights which the creator or owner has, both to use and exploit the Intellectual Property and also to stop others from doing so. As such, Intellectual Property Rights are a means of protecting the results of the intellectual and financial investment involved in innovation.
Understanding how to protect these rights can enable businesses to differentiate themselves and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, whilst effective management and commercialisation of these rights enables businesses to capitalise on their investment in innovation. Intellectual Property Rights are a significant asset to entrepreneurs and inventors and an understanding of how to protect and manage them are a vital part of the innovation process.
Intellectual Property Rights can be both overlapping and in complementary nature and different aspects of a product can be protected in a number of different ways. Some rights are such as patent, trade mark and design are capable of registration in order to protect them against use by others, whilst other rights rely on the creator to take proactive steps to secure them and control their use, such as copyright and know-how.
An example of how different Intellectual Property rights can co-exist and overlap in a tradtitional consumer product is shown below:
Intellectual Property in the Digital World
Intellectual Property Rights play an equally important role in the increasingly digital world and can also be used as tools to enable business to protect and capitalise on their investment in digital assets. In a similar way to physical products, the Intellectual Property Rights in relation to digital assets can be overlapping in nature and can be used to protect databases, software, source code, algorithms, user interfaces, applications as well as website and social media content. The rights which can used to protect digital assets are more dynamic in nature and in most cases rely upon creators and owners to take a more proactive approach to secure them through labelling and contractual agreements.
The digital arena also provides the greatest stimulus for Intellectual Property regimes to adapt and evolve, especially in relation to the streaming of content, 3D printing and the use of AI. In a world where the AI and machine learning is increasingly utilised, there is debate in many jurisdictions around the protection of AI generated algorithms and content, as traditional copyright and patent regulations currently apply only to the results of human intellectual effort. Businesses need an awareness of this changing regulatory environment in order to effectively protect and exploit their digital assets.
Konnexus focuses not only on providing advice on the technical aspects of Intellectual Property Rights but can also advise your business on managing them. Konnexus can help develop processes and strategies for managing Intellectual Property Rights from creation in product development stage through to management, protection and registration strategies, commercialisation and finally defence or enforcement of rights where necessary.
Konnexus provides advice on Intellectual Property in a commercial context. Our advice is shaped by both the external and internal business factors which effect your Intellectual Property needs. External factors will include, the technical nature of the product and its application, its industrial and geographical market and competitor activity. Business strategy, organisational structures and maturity, as well as the skill sets, knowledge and experience of your employees some of the internal business factors which will also play a role in shaping your Intellectual property strategy.
Focussing on the creation of rights in the product development process :
freedom to operate analysis
Working with patent experts to ensure that your business understands the current landscape of existing Intellectual Property Rights, allowing it to freely develop the product and minimise the risk of infringing on any third party rights.
Providing you with the tools and processes your business needs to decide, how and where to protect its Intellectual Property:
Advice on protecting confidentiality through the use of non-disclosure agreements and document marketing;
Developing decision making processes to help you decide which rights to protect, e.g patent or publish;
Patent, trade mark and design registration strategies tailored to your product, market and budget.
Enforcement and Defence
Helping to enforce your rights against competitors and defend them from challenge:
Developing processes to help you monitor competitor development activity
Advice on proactive steps to challenge competitor patent, trade mark and design registrations
Advise in defending your business against allegations of infringing third party Intellectual Property Rights.
Ownership and Management
Ensuring that your business has the correct rights to own and use the Intellectual Property it develops and giving it the tools and processes to effectively manage your portfolio:
Processes for recording the creation of Intellectual Property and governance decisions on how to protect it.
Ensuring the correct contractual provisions are in place with suppliers, consultants, partners and employees to ensure correct ownership of rights.
Developing inventor rewards scheme to incentivise innovation and recognise the inventors right to reasonable compensation
Budgeting tools to enable you to manage registration and renewal costs across your portfolio.
Designing portfolio review processes.
Helping your businsess to capitalise on its Intellectual Property
Assistance in drafting and negotiating, R&D, licence and collaboration agreements.
Advise on Intellectual Property provisions in a wide range of commercial contracts, including sales,, sponsorship and marketing agreements.
Tools to enable you manage your business' Intellectual property in the context of collaboration projects and ensure you have the correct rights to own and use the results.