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MaRS Entrepreneurship 101 Nov 21, 2012 # ENT101
IP MANAGEMENT: Creating Value by Protecting Knowledge Based Assets
NATHANIEL LIPKUS, Intellectual property
MATTHEW POWELL, patents
ASHLEE FROESE, trademarks
Do you use NDAs instead of stronger intellectual property protections?
Non-disclosure agreement costs a ton to enforce !
ONLY 20% of Canadian science /tech businesses - IP protection
Types: Patent, Trademark, Trade secret, Design, Copyright
IP has value!
Control over how an advantage reaches customers
ex: do you need to reinvent the smartphone?
Is it patentable? New, Useful, Non-obvious
Process for sharpening images
Patent laws <-- Strict !!
Use (ex: commercial)
offering for sale
actually selling it
Patent --> making something PUBLIC in exchange for control
Claims - Patent
Patents are granted on a per-country basis
Patent fee deferrals
Patent cooperation treaty --> options to file (30 months!)
Patent process 1 2 3 4 5
1. Understand inventorship & ownership
2. Prepare patent application
3. File the patent
4. Negotiate with examiner
5. Granted !
That's too broad
Okay how about this?
Patents Vs. Trade Secret (Shhh...)
Public | can't stop independent
control | others can protect details
that can be reverse engineered
Your company reputation!
Not just names
mass of consumers
3D designs, Colour, Sound ex: M&M Lion, distinguishing guise: Nesquick bottle: bunnies!
Generic -> Descriptive -> Suggestive -> Coined
The Beer Store
The more distinctive, the easier to protect.
Do your due diligence! (Is this viable? What's out there?)
#1 Trademark registration
--> formal ownership
--> easier litigation
--> can be renewed forever
--> useful for internet also www.
The Living Brand
Keep an eye on your brand
Ex: escalator, Zipper, Kleenex, Aspirin... becomes generic term!
Update as needed, audit what's going on
Online: Other people w/trademarks, Cybersquatters
Reserve your space
1. Know your IP: Invention disclosures, spreadsheets
2. Ensure IP Ownership
Contracts -- employees, contractors,etc.
Audit IP periodically
Start ... ... ... ...
IP HURDLES VS BARRIERS
Patents --> license? invalidate?
Trademarks --> license? modify?
Ex: Samsung vs. Apple
patents between user interface and hardware
Example: Gilead -] licensed HIV drugs to manufacturers in developing countries
Q: Lean Startup?
A: Few things can beat being first to market in some industries. Patents--> maintian competitive advantage
A: Don't forget about IP benefits
A: Can file for proposed use --trademarks?
Q: Business method patents, patent trolls?
A: Not healthy.. Moral discussion? Hybrid-->research labs. Nonpractising entities
Software patents: seat at the table. Challenge with prior art. Problems with patent system.
Q: enforceability of software patents?
A: Yes, if valid.
A: Not algorithms, but processes.