Your IP is too important not to be done properly, so what common mistakes are made when it comes to intellectual property?
- Having no IP Budget
An appropriate IP budget is the goal for any business, so did you know…
- IP spend can be a top 5 spend for small companies
- Hiding IP spend in Legal or R&D budgets leads to conflicts
- IP spend can and should be budgeted
- Having an IP budget is the first step to managing costs effectively
- Not aligning IP and Business
Have you considered reviewing your IP and identifying where intellectual property rights add value now and in the future?
Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) such as patents, trade marks, registered designs and trade secrets are business tools to support business strategy. Aligning IP with your business strategy and focusing on the most appropriate IPRs can help benefit the business in the short and long term by managing IP spend. It can also help in prioritising what is most important against the ‘nice to haves’.
- Inappropriate spending on IP
Many businesses are guilty of inappropriate spending on IP; this is often a result of having no IP budget in place or not aligning the IP with the business strategy. Have you considered the following?
- Is your business spending on the wrong type of IP?
- Is your business spending too little or too much on IP?
- Is your business effectively managing increases in spending as much as decreases?
- Is your business maintaining IP that no longer contributes any value to the business?
- Having the wrong Advisers
Having the wrong advisers in place to support you and your business can often lead to your IP not being protected properly - so what key things should be considered when selecting or reviewing advisers?
- Your advisers should understand the business objectives and align the IP appropriately
- Your advisers should be selected on quality and technical expertise rather than purely on location and cost alone
- Your advisers should be able to easily explain how they add value to your business
- Having no Management Responsibility
Often in businesses, IP is not managed within a clearly defined IP role, but considered as something extra in day to day workloads, an add on if you like. Even when there are roles such as IP managers in businesses, they are often not one of the main business managers. It is important to have a clearly defined management responsibility for IP at top level as this will not only make managing IP in your business more cost effective, but also allow you to make IP savvy decisions when it comes to assessing the IP value in your business. Are there any changes you need to make in your business?
Patent Emergency! What to do when you’ve (accidentally) disclosed your invention before you’ve filed a patent application
One of the cornerstones of the patent system in many countries, including the UK, is the need to apply for a patent before disclosing your invention publicly. This is because such ‘self-disclosure’ can be used to invalidate a subsequently filed patent application. That’s a horrible situation, because you may have really shot yourself in the foot in terms of getting patent protection in the UK and in many other countries. Therefore, we firmly advise that you keep the invention secret before filing a patent application on the invention.
IP expert praises one million women in STEM roles to mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science
A leading intellectual property expert has said it is “incredibly encouraging” to see almost one million women in STEM roles for the first time, but called for continued action to support this upwards trend.
Small Irish business wins ’David and Goliath’ trade mark case against McDonalds
An Irish fast-food company has claimed a famous victory over one of the biggest brands in the world. Supermac, a beloved restaurant chain throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland, has successfully challenged McDonalds over its trade mark for ‘Big Mac’ in the European Union.
EPO Board of Appeal finds that plants *ARE* patentable at the EPO - Rule 28(2) EPC is unenforceable
We have previously reported on the introduction of new Rule 28(2) EPC regarding the patentability of plants and animals obtained by “an essentially biological process”. As detailed in our November 2018 article, the first case to go to appeal was scheduled to take place on 5 December 2018. That hearing has now taken place and a decision has issued.
Mental health in intellectual property – breaking down barriers
Mental illness is frequently referred to as the ‘last taboo'.