Questions about Intellectual Property Asset Management
Why use an outsourced business development/intellectual property advisory resource?
Using an outsourced additional resource can provide:
- Efficient, cost-effective use of qualified resources
- Focus internal resources on what they do best
- Leverage third-party expertise to "jump start" strategic initiatives and manage special projects
- Priority handling of critical tasks in a timely manner
- Time for focus on strategic business initiatives
- Access to specialised intellectual property resources with minimal commitment and impact on overhead costs
- Impartial, third-party validation of business strategies
Why is intellectual property so important to businesses?
How does intellectual property increase competitiveness?
Why do organisations need an intellectual property management strategy?
A company's portfolio of intellectual property must be viewed as a collection of key assets that add significant value to the enterprise. Managing intellectual property effectively and using it to devise business strategies is an increasingly critical task for entrepreneurs worldwide.
General Questions about intellectual property
What is "intellectual property" or "IP"?
- patents (for new inventions for products or processes);
- trade marks (for brands including words, phrases, logos and pictures, to distinguish the goods and services of one trader from those of another);
- designs (for the shape or appearance of an item);
- copyright (for original material in literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works, video, multimedia and computer programs);
- plant breeder's rights; and
- confidentiality/trade secrets including know-how and other confidential or proprietary information (this is usually protected through contract).
What is a patent?
A patent is effective only in the country in which it is granted (but may extend to territories to which the laws of that country apply).
For an invention to be considered patentable, it must satisfy the basic criteria of being new and useful. In general, the invention should be of an industrial, commercial or trading character, as opposed to a purely artistic or intellectual exercise. The invention is required to be novel and involve an inventive step having regard to what is known or used at the time when the patent application is first filed.
How much do patents cost?
- Applications costs: the costs relating to the application fees and other prosecution fees paid to the national or regional patent offices. Such costs may vary widely from country to country (information on the fees may be obtained directly from the national IP offices) and are typically lower than the other costs referred to below.
- Patent attorney costs: costs relating to patent attorneys/agents who assist in drafting the patent application. While the use of a patent attorney/agent is usually optional (unless the applicant is not residing in the country and the law requires that he be represented by an attorney or agent admitted in the country), it is generally advisable to seek legal advice when drafting a patent document. Patent attorney fees will vary significantly from country to country.
- Translation Costs. 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.
- Maintenance or Annuity costs: the cost of maintaining applications and patents through payments to the individual national patent offices. 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. Protecting patents for the entire term of protection (in general, 20 years) in various countries may prove an expensive undertaking, also taking into account that annual maintenance fees are usually increasing the longer the protection is maintained. Typical such costs can be more than 70% of the total costs of a patent over its life time.
What is Open Innovation?