IP protection & commercialization strategies


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Presentation by Pierre Meloche from NRC-IRAP about IP protection and commercialization strategies.

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  • « Result of «  Creations of the mind” and innovation, examples include literary and artistic works, symbols, names, pictures, designs, business models. “IP rights” is “property” and based on legal right to exclude others from using the property. all the above can be registered except confidential information and trade secrets; can transfer ownership rights through contractual arrangement such as a license, assignment, etc; all legislated Discuss technological innovation and focus on patents, trade secrets, and to a lesser extent trade marks Copyright: protects against copying and reproducing; does not protect idea behind the original work but the original expression of the idea; automatic, life + 50 years; no need to add C-circle; original literary , artistic, musical and dramatic works and other such as sound recordings, performances; if registered helps pursue infringers; important in software (sequence of numbers, code, etc Integrated circuit topographies: original integrated circuit layout design; use, sale and manufacture; Systems on Chip; 10 years Industrial designs (visual appeal): prevents others from manufacturing and selling; eg coke bottle, distinctive wrappings, shapes, features, originial pattern; 10 years Plant breeders rights: varieties, new strain of wheat, Monsanto,
  • As entrepreneurs, you have made a sizeable investment and wish to protect it by excluding others from profiting from the fruits of your labour; need time to protect original IP, make improvements, RDA, deploy in market, capture market share, patent will provide this advantage – 20 year window. Platform technology with fields of use; some may be of interest others less so (license to others) Building value; ROI: crown jewel; goodwill; value at exi; some sectors more important than others e.g. biotech, pharmat
  • Re patents: inventor’s black book (important particularly in US with first to invent and in other jurisdictions, in case of infringement and litigation; Invention disclosure: true inventors vs contractors and if incorrect, grounds for invalid patent and avoid skeletons in the closet particularly if lucrative Non-disclosure agreement
  • Timing of filing: earlier the better; prior to public disclosure Prosecution (Office Action); Examiner’s role Maintenance fees escalate PCT, escalation of costs at 30 months in entering National Phase Finding patent agent: knowledgeable in domain; track record USA: CIP if adding new subject matter while maintaining first country priority filing date USA: divisional (process, product, apparatus) (one invention, one patent)
  • - prior publications: if published may negate ability to file in Europe, Japan Need to publish: if publish before filing, may negate abiltity to patent; strong basic patent, improvement good but minor; publish to level out the playing field but may still need license to basic patent to use invention Improvement or breakthrough: Feasible or useful: “everything is patentable”; breadth of claim protection may be small and weak; are there worthwhile claims that can feasibly be obtained; prior art flushes out little art, good likely hood of strong patent claims but harder to commercialize; simple invention easier to commercialize Trade secrets: process or formulation?; less than 7 years before technology obsolete; Status of technology: on-going, completed, others working on technology? Status of technology development: may need more work before filing to back-up claims Race? Prior art may show a lot of activity therefore time of the essence
  • - Partner-collaborator id: who pays for cost of protection, on-going development?; licensee in view?
  • examples: Industrial Business Machines (IBM); ski doo, registration of company name at federal or provincial level is not a trade-mark ISM license example (technology obsolescence + trade mark)
  • License is a business deal first and foremost Can be very creative; barter; RCMP VIP vehicles anti-projectiles and bomb resistant Case to be made for a joint technology development fund, in trust, managed by company, monies owing to Crown but used to accelerate product development and deployment by both the Licensor and Licensee and through joint projects
  • - Need Champion spark plug
  • IP protection & commercialization strategies

    1. 1. IP protection & commercialization strategies Pierre Meloche NRC-IRAP May 20, 2011
    2. 2. Types of Intellectual Property (IP) <ul><li>Patents </li></ul><ul><li>Confidential information </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright </li></ul><ul><li>Trade secrets (know-how) </li></ul><ul><li>Trade marks </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated circuit topographies </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial designs </li></ul><ul><li>Plant breeders rights </li></ul>
    3. 3. Why protect IP? <ul><li>Protect ownership rights </li></ul><ul><li>Control and manage technology transfer (IP) by means of a license, assignment or other contractual arrangement </li></ul><ul><li>Establish means to pursue infringers </li></ul><ul><li>Increase competitive advantage </li></ul><ul><li>New source of revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Maximize return on investment </li></ul><ul><li>Foster industrial growth </li></ul>
    4. 4. Protecting the invention (patent) <ul><li>Patent: exclusive right to exclude others from using, manufacturing or selling the invention </li></ul><ul><li>Targets new inventions (apparatus, process, product, composition of matter or improvements thereof) that have: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>novelty (new, innovative) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>utility (workable, practical, useful) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>inventive (ingenuity, non-obviousness to one who is skilled in the art) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Patent application must be filed (formal or provisional) </li></ul><ul><li>If published, 12 month grace period in USA, Canada and Australia to file formal application </li></ul><ul><li>absolute novelty (no publication) required elsewhere Europe, Japan, BRIC </li></ul><ul><li>Life of patent: 20 years from the filing date (territorial) </li></ul><ul><li>First to file (world) except US (first to invent) </li></ul>
    5. 5. Patent costs (2010) <ul><li>Prior art search ($1.5-3K) </li></ul><ul><li>Provisional patent application ($2.5-5K) </li></ul><ul><li>Draft and prosecute patent application (1: $10-25K; + $5-10K) </li></ul><ul><li>Patent application filing fee </li></ul><ul><li>Examination fees </li></ul><ul><li>Issue fee </li></ul><ul><li>Maintenance fees: escalates as patent ages </li></ul><ul><li>Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT): for multiple country filings; lower costs till the National Phase (30 months); add translation </li></ul>
    6. 6. Factors influencing patent strategy <ul><li>Prior art search may flush out prior publications </li></ul><ul><li>Need to publish (but file first!) </li></ul><ul><li>Type of invention: improvement or breakthrough? </li></ul><ul><li>Adding value to the Crown jewels or a vanity patent? </li></ul><ul><li>Is patent protection feasible and useful? </li></ul><ul><li>Are trade secrets a viable option? </li></ul><ul><li>Status of technology development? </li></ul><ul><li>Hot subject matter: are others in the race to patent? </li></ul>
    7. 7. Factors influencing patent strategy (cont’d) <ul><li>Partner / collaborator identified? </li></ul><ul><li>Can I afford not to protect? </li></ul><ul><li>Technology platform: can I license fields of use of lesser interest and generate additional revenue? </li></ul><ul><li>what is the exit strategy? </li></ul><ul><li>Targeted countries for filing patent application? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>where: USA, Canada, world wide? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>where are the markets? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>who are your competitors (potential infringers) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>case by case </li></ul>
    8. 8. Trade secrets <ul><li>Confidential information (know-how) that provides a commercial advantage </li></ul><ul><li>Prevents others from using it </li></ul><ul><li>Can not be registered but is protected through non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and employee contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Duration: unlimited, unless discovered by a third party </li></ul><ul><li>Cost: nil, other than cost of internal secrecy measures </li></ul><ul><li>Applicable to: processes, products, formulations (difficult to reverse engineer) </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. Coca-cola, paints, resins, manufacturing processes </li></ul>
    9. 9. Trade secrets (disadvantages) <ul><li>Publication: can not publish, no peer recognition </li></ul><ul><li>Need to implement internal policies and procedures to prevent unwanted disclosure </li></ul><ul><li>Independent discovery by third party negates trade secret advantage </li></ul><ul><li>At risk are commercial advantage, investment, markets </li></ul><ul><li>Generally, commercial value is smaller </li></ul>
    10. 10. Trademarks <ul><li>Symbols, words, logos or shapes or a combination that are used to differentiate your wares and services from others in the marketplace </li></ul><ul><li>Represents company reputation, experience and expertise (the brand) </li></ul><ul><li>Good product and memorable trade-mark generates goodwill with customers </li></ul><ul><li>TM (adopted marks but not registered) vs registered trade marks (R-circle) vs trade (company) name); recommend search & registration </li></ul><ul><li>Value increases with use, need 1rst sale </li></ul><ul><li>Duration: 15 years, renewable and territorial </li></ul><ul><li>Use: generate goodwill, strengthen the brand, counter technological obsolescence, licensing, franchising </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. Coca-cola, Apple, IBM </li></ul>
    11. 11. Anatomy of a license: the exoskeleton <ul><li>Grant of IP Rights by the licensor </li></ul><ul><li>How the IP rights will be used by the licensee: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>types of rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>field of use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>territory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sub-license </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>duration </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fees and royalties </li></ul><ul><li>Improvements: who owns? </li></ul><ul><li>Protection costs: who pays? </li></ul><ul><li>Infringement: who chases? </li></ul><ul><li>Performance: what if ….! </li></ul>
    12. 12. Examples of IP/commercialization strategies <ul><li>Software: Microsoft </li></ul><ul><li>Hardware: Dell </li></ul><ul><li>Biological material: GSK </li></ul><ul><li>Formulations: Coca-cola, Sherwin-Williams </li></ul><ul><li>Devices: Champion Spark plugs, Med-Eng, NBC Team Ltd, </li></ul>
    13. 13. Patent and trade-mark searches <ul><li>www.delphion.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.uspto.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.cipo.ic.gc.ca </li></ul><ul><li>www.espace.com </li></ul>