Understanding Your IP Rights
The development of new innovative technologies often involves working across internal research teams as well as external or third party collaboration. For those projects that will develop commercial Intellectual Property (IP), particular emphasis should be placed on understanding IP ownership rights as well as the Background IP (BIP) and Third Party IP (TPIP) that is used in the project. Knowledge of the rights to use BIP provided under pre-existing or past agreements (projects) can have a major impact on all aspects of the Project IP (PIP) and the potential commercial use of such IP.
Understanding your IP rights begins with identifying the primary IP outcome to be developed from the project. Remaining assessments are focused on clarifying the rights to ownership, to use and to commercialise the IP. These rights may be affected by agreements that existed from past research programs. It is important for any research team or R&D manager to understand all current and past arrangements that may affect the rights to use and commercialise IP developed from a project. To achieve this there is a clear need to have a central IP management system/database and IP Register.
Information provided in the Project IP Register enables areas of concern to be identified that need to be discussed with research providers. Any third party agreements should be reviewed in order to complete an IP risk assessment.
When evaluating rights to use existing BIP, a possible area of concern is confidentiality or Rights to Publish, particularly for project outcomes of commercial significance. Promotional rights or publication to industry can be restricted by existing agreements with investment partners or third parties contributing to the project. Here publication restrictions come from BIP or TPIP rights to use.
Continually updating IP Registers is important in tracking all IP developed from project investments with on-going management necessary in order to meet the needs of funding partners. Any restrictions or Rights to Use the BIP, TPIP and Project IP is recorded in the IP Register.
For Project IP with commercial potential, an exploitation strategy is needed with both a commercialisation plan and adoption pathway in place. On-going assessment and refinement of the strategy as the project progresses can be captured by recording in the IP Register.
IP reporting requirements are determined from both internally within an organisation or institution and from the needs of external research providers. Good IP management is crucial when project investments are made with external research providers.
To enable all key information about a project IP to be recorded it is important to have a simple to use central database that research teams and R&D managers can access and search for records (past and current). Such systems should be able to track IP as it is developed, protected, published and commercialised.
Here at IP Active we have the expertise and experience to help with all your IP management and commercialisation needs. This includes working with you and your team to develop IP Registers, customised IP managements systems and training staff in IP. We can also guide you in commercialising your IP.