7.1.4 How to use intellectual property protection tools?

Table 2:1

Think it over, do you properly respect the above mentioned IP tools when working with the knowledge or products of others!

Costs of IP tools may vary widely from country to country but basically it can be divided into four types of costs.

  • Firstly, the costs relating to the application fees and other legal fees paid to the national or regional patent offices.
  • Secondly, the costs relating to patent attorneys/agents who assist in drafting the application.
  • Thirdly, costs of translation. Such costs are only relevant when seeking IP protection in foreign countries whose official language is different from the language in which the application has been prepared and may prove to be high, especially for highly technical patent applications.
  • Fourthly, the cost of maintaining applications and patents through payments to the patent office. Such fees are usually paid at regular intervals (e.g. every year or once every five years) in order to maintain the application or the patent.2

A business perspective of IPR is essential and several factors must be taken into consideration to effectively utilise the system. This should be based on a sound and well-crafted institutional Intellectual Property Policy that supports and integrates with the business mission of the organisation. Enabling institutional support on IPR issues and individuals’ awareness of the IPR essentials are imperatives for innovation management.3

The various steps towards using IPR in business involve

  • the creation of value-added innovations,
  • their identification and
  • timely protection using diverse tools

of IPR in various countries of business interest making best use of international conventions4, exploiting the IPR in the products / processes / services, enforcing them against infringements and/or by their transfer through assignments, renting the rights through licenses, selling trade secrets in the form of know how at their appropriate value or even bartering the rights through cross licenses, and in several cases acquiring IPR from others to strengthen one’s IPR portfolio and ensure freedom of use etc. The relation between strategic IPR and revenues of a business has been demonstrated especially by correlating the patenting activity and the turnover of various companies.5

Patent and trademark are territorial rights and are granted for a particular countries and they last specific period of time (i.e 20 years for a patent), while duration of copyright is 50 years after author death.

The community patent and the community trademark (Administrated by OHIM Office in Alicante, Spain) are titles giving protection in all Europen countries with one single application. Due to this fact, it is cheaper to protect a European patent in 25 countries with one application (community patent) than to make 25 different patent applications for all E.U state members.

1 http://projects.czu.cz/index.php?shortcut_module=YET
For further information please see chapter 7.2 International Regulations of this guide.
5 ww.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/arab/en/wipo_ip_mct_apr_04/wipo_ip_mct_apr_04_5.doc