Intellectual property represents an essential element for technology intelligence, as well as a key stage in technology transfer and innovation management. Increasingly, its registration enables the creation of technology-based firms.

These practical guidelines support and reveal the main keys to a better IPR management, bearing in mind the maximisation of science, technology and scientific knowledge impact of the organisation on society.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property refers to mind creations, such as inventions; artistic and literary works; designs and symbols, names and images used in commerce. The right is granted by the States for a certain period of time, for the use or exploitation of inventions or innovations in an industrial and commercial way.

The registration of an IP grant an exploitation monopoly in the market, but at the same time there are a some obligations to the IP holders. Among them, for instance the public disclosure an important issue for technology intelligence.

Benefits and advantages

In the present knowledge and information economy society, intellectual property emerges as the main mechanism of R&D investment return.

Achieving effective legal and strategic protection for research and knowledge results allows the generation of intangible assets with which to strengthen the commercialisation capacity and socio-economic performance of R&D within an organisation. These intangible assets are fundamental to achieve:

  • contractual intellectual property agreements based on IP assets
  • exploitation granting licenses
  • economic transactions based on licenses and strategic alliances

In addition, patents, trademarks or industrial designs databases make available to users a wealth of technology and commercial information ,a matter of vital importance to be up-to-date from the monitoring point of view.

In #MoocVT you can understand how to take advantage of the informative value of intellectual property, check Module: Technology Information Management.

Intellectual Property types

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) established in 1967 through its international agreement the protection entity scope. The different types can be described as follows:

  • Copyrigths
  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Industrial Designs
  • Geographic Indicators
  • Trade secrets

IP Legal framework

Registers and intellectual property rights are territorial and are subject to a wide variety of treaties and legal issues typical of national, community and international laws. Most of them are coordinated by WIPO and are accessible through its WIPO Lex tool.

The IP legal framework is

  • National laws: each country has its own Technical Office in charge of the IPR management in the country. The main duties are administrative and technical issues related with IP grants, requirements and litigations. Find more about IP Offices with #MoocVT.
  • International laws: seek to provide common procedures and facilitate supranational protection with instruments such as “national treatment” and the establishment of a common concession process.
  • Framework agreements: foundations of the previous legislation and establish the minimum concession requirements.

To understand the IP legal framework and national regulation with all its complexities is key to perform a technological intelligence. For example, the validity of each industrial property title covers the territory for which it is granted, and may be in the public domain in those countries where its protection was not requested. Therefore, it is crucial to identify the Offices involved, monitor their databases and communications, and take advantage of the value of intelligence studies already produced to guide effective decision-making.

In addition, support programs such as the Latin America IPR SME Helpdesk help companies to identify legal framework for intellectual property rights in each country and its impact on business internationalisation.

IPR information advantages

Increasingly, organizations’ ability to innovate is closely linked to the ability to access and take advantage of the IP informational value. The information sources, such as patents, trademarks, industrial designs or utility models, represent the most complete and up-to-date dissemination mean for technology intelligence. Usually they are published in international standard documents which are freely accessible through specialised databases, managed by IP offices.

Moreover, the IP information contents is not exclusive to scientists or technical experts, but they provide strategic information to multiple areas of an organisation, since they allow knowing commercial, legal, financial and prospective information, in addition to its technical value.

The Technology Intelligence Guide brings fundamental clues about strategic information resources.
More information: #MoocVT Module 2: “Technology information management

References: MIT IP guide