Home Our Team LITIGATION Patents Brands Technology Anti-Trust NEWS & EVENTS How to find us
 
 
Technology lies at the heart of manufacturing. As a result, significant investment is often made in the innovation of technology. If the product of that innovation is an invention then it can be protected by a patent. Alternatively, it may be protected by maintaining it as a trade secret. Each form of protection is valuable but each has risks attached. The patenting process involves making the invention open to public inspection. If a patent application is rejected (in the worst case scenario), the subject matter of the invention is then freely available to all. Equally, if an invention that is the subject of a trade secret was to become known, its exclusive value would disappear. In either case, the exploitation of the invention could be seriously jeopardised. The choice of whether to patent an innovation or to keep it secret is a matter of strategy.
For further information, please contact our head of IP Management and Strategy,
Fred Pearson
 
Strategic management of intellectual property
There are two main aspects to the strategic management of intellectual property. The first is protection and the second is exploitation. Underpinning both aspects should be the commercial strategy adopted by a business.
 
Protection
The protection aspect applies both to patent filing and trade secrets. The management of intellectual property involves being selective, both in the choice and type of innovation to be protected, in line with business strategy. For each and every innovation, it is advisable to use strict guidelines to determine which form of protection should be chosen. An awareness of Patents and how to protect inventions is vital in any technology-based organisation.
Details of our patent awareness training programmes
 
Exploitation
The exploitation aspect involves maximising the value of the protected intellectual property. Contractual arrangements for the exploitation of technology and intellectual property are called licence agreements, or sometimes technology transfer agreements. Licensing and other methods of leveraging intellectual property can add significant value to a business.
 
Inventors’ rights and patent ownership disputes
As the importance of intellectual property to modern businesses has increased, the number of court cases about the ownership of patents and inventors’ rights has also grown. Questions of sole, joint or shared ownership of inventions are arising more frequently than they did in the past as a result of companies seeking to outsource their research and development activities. Complicated legal issues can arise in relation to the joint ownership of inventions and entitlement to patents when companies collaborate in making an invention. This is an increasingly important area of the law for companies undertaking joint research and development projects.
Please contact the head of our Dispute Resolution team, Duncan Curley for further information
Download a copy of a powerpoint presentation given by Fred Pearson to students at Cranfield University
Download a copy of a powerpoint presentation given by Duncan Curley to students on the LLM Law, Technology and Governance Course at the National University of Ireland in Galway.
 
CONTACT         info@innovatelegal.co.uk       107 fleet street london ec4a 2ab       tel +44 (0)20 7936 9056       FAX + 44 (0) 20 3070 0975
[ Site Map ]