Understand what intellectual property is about



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Understand what intellectual property is about

  • Understand what intellectual property is about

  • Balance the pros and cons of applying for a patent

    • Understand what a patent is
    • Know how to obtain a patent and how much it costs
    • Understand how patents can be used
    • Be aware of the alternatives to patenting
  • Use patent information to gain valuable knowledge







Essential business asset in the knowledge economy

  • Essential business asset in the knowledge economy

    • Swedish steel-maker Sandvik: 20% of its value is from IP!
  • Increases funding for innovative projects

    • Without IP many innovative projects would not be profitable because anyone who wanted could simply copy the results
  • Protects small innovative firms

    • Dolby® Laboratories
    • W. L. Gore & Associates (Gore-Tex®)
  • Needed to release IP into the public domain under

  • controlled conditions:

    • Linux (GPL): improvements must be free too!








Senate of Venice, 1474:

  • Senate of Venice, 1474:















Prevent others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing infringing products in the country where the patent was granted

  • Prevent others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing infringing products in the country where the patent was granted

  • Sell these rights or conclude licensing contracts

  • For up to 20 years from the date of filing of the patent application



Bibliographic information

  • Bibliographic information

  • Abstract

    • Around 150 words as a search aid for other patent applications
  • Description

    • Summary of prior art (i.e. the technology known to exist)
    • The problem that the invention is supposed to solve
    • An explanation and at least one way of carrying out the invention
  • Claims

    • Define the extent of patent protection
  • Drawings

    • Illustrate the claims and description




Prior art

  • Prior art

    • Teapot with one spout
  • Drawback of prior art

    • Time-consuming
  • Problem to solve

    • Reduce filling time
  • Solution

    • Provide a second spout
  • Advantage of the invention

    • The time needed to fill multiple
    • cups is reduced


Inventions that are…

  • Inventions that are…

    • new to the world (no previous public notice)
    • inventive (i.e. not an "obvious" solution)
    • susceptible of industrial application




National patent offices

  • National patent offices

    • National patent valid only in the country where it is granted
    • Non-residents can also apply for a patent
    • One year of "priority" for subsequent applications
  • European Patent Office

    • A European patent is equivalent to national patents in the countries where it is granted (the applicant chooses the countries)
  • Via the Patent Cooperation Treaty

    • Just one application for up to 141 countries
    • After the initial application phase, the international application leads to multiple national patent examination procedures
    • Decisions with cost implications can be delayed until 30-31 months after filing (e.g. choice of countries to file in)
  • There is no such thing as an international patent!











Protecting products and processes

  • Protecting products and processes

    • Increasing turnover and profits
    • Attracting investors
  • Licensing

  • Cross-licensing

  • Blocking competitors

  • Building reputation

  • Not used









Patent strategy

  • Patent strategy

    • Offensive/defensive
    • Internationalisation
    • Kind of exploitation: licensing or own use
  • Patent information

  • Communication

    • Compile convincing evidence that your patents are valuable
    • Inform investors and banks, clients and prospective employees
  • Maintenance

    • Pay renewal fees, observe deadlines
    • Strengthen important patents and get rid of ones with no value












Beware of "naïve" keyword searches such as ...

  • Beware of "naïve" keyword searches such as ...












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