A J Park Clanz Seminar Sharpen Up Your Ip Knowledge Mark Hargreaves Scott Yorke & Simon Fogarty 14


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  • A J Park Clanz Seminar Sharpen Up Your Ip Knowledge Mark Hargreaves Scott Yorke & Simon Fogarty 14

    1. 1. Sharpen up your IP knowledge Ownership of IP: Avoiding the pitfalls Scott Yorke Mark Hargreaves scott.yorke@ajpark.com [email_address] 27 November 2007
    2. 2. This seminar <ul><li>Outlines the basic rules of IP ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Highlights the difference between legal and beneficial ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Looks at ownership problems we often encounter </li></ul><ul><li>Recommends some solutions to these problems </li></ul>
    3. 3. Types of IP <ul><li>Patents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exclusive right to make, use, and vend invention </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Designs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Protect three-dimensional designs and patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Copyright </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Protects expression of ideas, not ideas themselves </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trade Marks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exclusive right to use marks for particular goods and services </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Ownership of patent rights <ul><li>Patents Act 1953 </li></ul><ul><li>Sets out who has right to file in New Zealand </li></ul><ul><li>Application originating in NZ – true and first inventor or assignee and any other person </li></ul><ul><li>Application based on overseas application – original applicant or assignee </li></ul>
    5. 5. Ownership of design rights <ul><li>Designs Act 1953 </li></ul><ul><li>General rule is author of a design is proprietor of design </li></ul><ul><li>If design executed by author for another person for good consideration, other person is proprietor </li></ul><ul><li>Employer will usually own employee designs </li></ul>
    6. 6. Ownership of copyright <ul><li>Copyright Act 1994 </li></ul><ul><li>General rule is author of work owns copyright </li></ul><ul><li>Where employee makes a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, employer owns </li></ul><ul><li>Where person commissions and pays for photograph, software, painting, drawing, diagram, map, chart, plan, engraving, model, sculpture, film or sound recording, commissioner owns </li></ul><ul><li>All subject to agreement to contrary </li></ul>
    7. 7. Ownership of trade marks <ul><li>Trade Marks Act 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone claiming to be owner may apply to register a trade mark </li></ul><ul><li>First to file or first to use generally prevails </li></ul><ul><li>Complicated by factors such as competing usage, convention priority claims </li></ul>
    8. 8. Legal and beneficial ownership <ul><li>IP rights are choses in action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assignments must be in writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Otherwise an equitable assignment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems with assignments of future IP </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Legal ownership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Person who owns legal title by virtue of law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Registered owner </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Beneficial ownership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rights of ownership under principles of equity </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. An Example – Baby Buggy <ul><ul><li>Aspects of the buggy are patentable and capable of design protection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copyright in buggy design drawings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C and E are inventors/authors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both commissioned parties (B and D) agreed the commissioning party (A) would own the IP developed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Who owns the IP? </li></ul>A B C D E sub-contracts employs commissions employs
    10. 10. Who owns the copyright? <ul><li>C and E have no rights in design drawings </li></ul><ul><li>B and D would be first owners but for agreement to contrary </li></ul><ul><li>Commissioning agreements are agreements to contrary, and provide for assignment of future copyright, so legal and beneficial ownership vests in A </li></ul><ul><li>But what if no agreement to contrary? </li></ul>
    11. 11. Who owns the design rights? <ul><li>Authors executed design for employers for good consideration </li></ul><ul><li>So B and D are legal co-owners </li></ul><ul><li>But A is the beneficial owner </li></ul><ul><li>What if no commissioning agreements? Does A have any rights then? </li></ul>
    12. 12. Who owns the patent rights? <ul><li>C and E are legal owners, as true and first inventors </li></ul><ul><li>Beneficial ownership vests in A </li></ul><ul><li>Without assignments from C and E or agreement to contrary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>C and E may be able to make, use, exercise and sell the invention covered by NZ patent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>C and E may even be able to assign their interest or grant licences under any US patent </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Result… <ul><li>All five parties have some ownership interest </li></ul><ul><li>Title issues may make registration, enforcement, or sale of IP difficult </li></ul><ul><li>B, C, D or E may have obligations to A, but what if they die, disappear, or transfer their rights? </li></ul>
    14. 14. Avoiding ownership pitfalls <ul><li>Understand relationships between parties </li></ul><ul><li>Get written agreements </li></ul><ul><li>Agreements should state that other party holds IP on trust and will assign upon request </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up agreements with written assignment once IP created </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure other party has no right to use IP, except to perform obligations, and no right to sell or license </li></ul>
    15. 15. Avoiding ownership pitfalls <ul><li>Ensure other parties involved are under obligations of confidentiality </li></ul><ul><li>Agree who owns any improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Include power of attorney provision </li></ul><ul><li>If commissioned party has sub-contracted, ensure sub-contractor has agreed to pass ownership through the chain </li></ul>
    16. 16. Avoid co-ownership <ul><li>Unless parties agree: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>who has the right to exploit the IP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how to deal with commercialisation proceeds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>who will file protective applications for the IP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>who will decide on scope of protection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>who will pay for the protection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how to deal with infringements and claims </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what happens if a party wants to transfer its ownership share </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>how to deal with disputes </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Sharpen up your IP knowledge Managing your IP: practical guidance Simon Fogarty [email_address] 27 November 2007
    18. 18. Why Manage your IP? <ul><li>Protects income stream </li></ul><ul><li>Ensures clarity of ownership </li></ul><ul><li>Prepares you for any disputes </li></ul><ul><li>Attractive to potential purchaser </li></ul>
    19. 19. Day to day management <ul><li>Appoint a manager </li></ul><ul><li>Do an audit/maintain your own records </li></ul><ul><li>Register your rights </li></ul><ul><li>Advertise your rights </li></ul><ul><li>Keep contracts up to date </li></ul>
    20. 20. Appoint an IP manager <ul><li>Make someone responsible for your portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Manager should understand the value of your portfolio to your business </li></ul><ul><li>Liaise with external advisers </li></ul><ul><li>All queries should go through this person </li></ul>
    21. 21. IP audit/maintain records <ul><li>Patents </li></ul><ul><li>Trade marks </li></ul><ul><li>Designs </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright </li></ul><ul><li>Confidential information/trade secrets </li></ul>
    22. 22. Register your rights <ul><li>Registered patent v confidential information/trade secret </li></ul><ul><li>Registered trade mark v passing off/Fair Trading Act </li></ul><ul><li>Registered design v copyright </li></ul>
    23. 23. Advertise your rights <ul><li>New Zealand patent no. 123456 </li></ul><ul><li>New Zealand registered design no. 987654 </li></ul><ul><li>® or ™ </li></ul><ul><li>© 2006 ABC Limited </li></ul>
    24. 24. Update your contracts <ul><li>Identify any IP in the contract </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly state who owns the IP </li></ul><ul><li>If IP is created under the contract identify who the owner will be </li></ul><ul><li>If IP is being sold make sure it is identified </li></ul>
    25. 25. Enforcing your rights <ul><li>Know what your rights are </li></ul><ul><li>Use proper marking </li></ul><ul><li>Act as soon as your rights are infringed </li></ul><ul><li>Seek expert advice at the beginning </li></ul><ul><li>Provide advisers with critical information at the outset </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to back-up any demands </li></ul>
    26. 26. Dealing with threats <ul><li>Know what your rights are </li></ul><ul><li>Take all threats seriously </li></ul><ul><li>Seek expert advice at the beginning </li></ul><ul><li>Provide advisers with detailed records </li></ul><ul><li>Know at the outset how far you will go to resist any claims made </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to defend your rights </li></ul>
    27. 27. Summary <ul><li>Protecting your IP is good for business </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to manage your portfolio if you do it on a day to day basis </li></ul><ul><li>Enforce your rights </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid infringing the rights of others </li></ul>
    28. 28. Sharpen up your IP knowledge Scott Yorke Mark Hargreaves [email_address] [email_address] Simon Fogarty [email_address] 27 November 2007