FITT Toolbox: Protection


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In the activity of IP Management, the process of Protection of the IP is an essential stake. In a fast moving sector as ICT, it is not always easy to define the best protection strategy: patenting is a strong protection mean, but is costs and time consuming. Besides secrecy, many other types of protection (e.g. mark, copyright) also exist and offer a wide range of possibilities. The presented practices focus on issues around protection and propose some practices.

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FITT Toolbox: Protection

  1. 1. Protection FITT– Fostering Interregional Exchange in ICT Technology Transfer – www.FITT-for-Innovation.euExcept where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
  2. 2. Process “Protection” in general   Each University or Research Centre is confronted with a choice when considering the research results and its valorisation: do we have to publish, keep the secret or protect it with a patent, a drawing or a model, a mark, a copyright?   In a fast moving sector as ICT, it is not always easy to define the best protection strategy: patenting is a strong protection mean, but is costs and time consuming. Besides secrecy, many other types of protection (mark, copyright…) are also existing and offer a wide range of possibilities.   Awareness creation of the researchers about protection is also a key issue (non disclosure)2 | March 2011 Protection
  3. 3. Process “Protection” in general  In the activity of IP Management, besides the processes of Valuation and Exploitation, the process of Business Protection of the IP is an essential stake. (see activity “IP Management” for more details about this VALUATION EXPLOITATION triangulation) IP Management PROTECTION Technology Legal3 | March 2011 Protection
  4. 4. Process “Protection” in practice  What is IP?, and means of protection: •  Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. •  Intellectual property is divided into two categories: -  Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; -  and Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs. Source: World Intellectual Property Organization ( | March 2011 Protection
  5. 5. Process “Protection” in practice  Why protect an invention? •  Preserve the rights of the inventors •  Prevent the competitors to exploit the invention without precondition •  Increase the economic development via the technology transfer to companies •  Support the partnerships with companies •  Possible action leverage for obtaining research contracts •  Possible financial return •  Allow the creation of spin-off.5 | March 2011 Protection
  6. 6. Process “Protection” in practice  Protection of the IP is not only a matter of TTO. Protection is an essential stake and must form an integral part of the researcher steps. It concern both applied or fundamental research. And awareness of researcher is an important issue. (For more information about awareness creation of researchers, see process “creation of transfer awareness” of the FITT toolbox)  Protection is to be taken into account throughout the value chain, from the very early development stage, inside the labs, to the commercialisation. IP in the university Start and Call for Project project projects mounting management Invention Patenting Commercial Technological R&D scouting Disclosure and portfolio exploitation management 6 | March 2011 Protection
  7. 7. Parts of the process  The object is not here to cover and expose the whole range of practices commonly in use in the field of IP Protection. See chapter “further readings” to find more detailed information.  A focus on ICT particular issues in the FITT project propose the following practices or cases: •  Charter for IP and technology transfer •  Software patents •  Laboratory Notebook •  Preconstitute the Proof of your ownership rights on a software •  Choosing the right license: elements to guide technology transfer officers7 | March 2011 Protection
  8. 8. Practice “Charter for IP and TT”  Charter adopted in 2008 by the Carnot Institutes  Carnot Institutes : French label and network of 33 research laboratories/ organizations active in partnership research (i.e. research lead by public laboratories in partnership with companies)  Harmonised set of principles for Intellectual Property and Knowledge Transfer, bringing a global and clear framework for cooperation between private stakeholders and public research organizations (PRO).  Close links with a similar initiative at EU level8 | March 2011 Protection
  9. 9. Practice “Software Patenting”  Computer programs as such are still expressly excluded from patent protection  In practice, however, the approach has changed in recent years.  This practice will give •  A reminder of the necessary definitions •  A status on the european law •  Examples of “software patent” filed an delivered in Europe9 | March 2011 Protection
  10. 10. Practice “Laboratory notebook”  The laboratory notebook is an essential working tool for the researcher. It is used for documenting and dating any experiments, work, research results and original ideas.  In general, it is an important source for: •  understanding how the experiments were conducted •  understanding how the conclusions were formed •  understanding how the results were deduced  The laboratory notebook establishes the precedence of results or inventions from an intellectual property standpoint. It therefore constitutes evidence in the event of disputes relating to scientific publications or patent applications in the United States.  It was adopted simultaneously by all the French speaking universities in Belgium. It represents now a standard to be respected by all researchers.10 | March 2011 Protection
  11. 11. Practice “choosing the right license: elements to guide technology transfer officers”  A license is a contract between a software publisher (licensor) & an end user (licensee) governing the usage and redistribution of a software.  Software licenses can generally be fit into two categories : proprietary & open source licenses.  The practice provides : •  definitions of proprietary and open-source licenses •  a case study detailing the necessary steps to pick up the right license •  a compatibility table for licenses (Cecill, GPL, LGPL, BSD) •  practical recommendations11 | March 2011 Protection
  12. 12. Case “Proof for software copyright”The protection by copyright is automatic and requires no formality. However, in order to claim protection by copyright for a given software, a person must prove that he is truly the creator of this software.This case gives information on the way(s) to provide such evidence.It focuses on : •  processes for establishing the proof of authorship of an invention •  processes custom-made for establishing proof of authorship of a software (IDDN, Logitas, APP) •  benefits of software registration •  practical information on the software registration process at APP (most commonly used in French organisations)12 | March 2011 Protection
  13. 13. Suggested Readings  Link to relevant websites: • • •  http://www.wipo.int13 | March 2011 Protection