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IP enforcement
15.06.2017

Intellectual property (IP) can be protected by, among others, IP rights or titles, such as trade marks or patents. Such titles are usually thought to confer negative rights, which means, the right to exclude others from using or commercialising, for example, an invention protected under a patent.

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This fact sheet highlights some low-cost strategies that SMEs could adopt to exploit their intangible assets and therefore reap the benefits of the IP system. It is important to note that there is no single best way to manage intangible assets and that the choice of the different tools certainly depends on the business strategy of the enterprise. Most importantly, for a business plan to be successful and fruitful, strategic decisions should be jointly taken with managers, lawyers, employers/creators and intellectual assets consultants.

This fact sheet deals with the assignment of intellectual property rights. Indeed, it is important to understand “what is an IP assignment” as it can be an effective route for the exploitation of your intellectual property. In this fact sheet you can also find an outline of the main provisions of an assignment agreement as well as a check-list to remind you of the most important steps when negotiating an assignment.

This fact sheet deals with internal product development. Whether you develop software, or are in the fashion industry, create and sell furniture or technology devices, you are developing intangible assets. Indeed, nowadays every business has websites, develops its own brands, even non-technological small businesses. Others, such as many start-ups, only have intangible assets. Developing products internally and commercialising them therefore requires the proper management of the intellectual property created by the business and possibly embedded in the product. The purpose of this fact sheet is to give you a handy checklist of the most common tasks required in the management of intellectual property during the different stages of a product’s development cycle.

Usually, the two main means to bring technical and scientific knowledge to the public are patent applications and journal publications. With the advent of the internet two alternative means are available: the defensive publications and the open access model. This fact sheet examines the different aspects of these knowledge dissemination tools, also taking into account the different needs and objectives of research organisations/universities (ROs) and small and medium sized enterprises/industry (SMEs).

Software, or computer programs, is a complex asset. At the boundary between pure creations of the mind and technical inventions, multiple intellectual property rights (IPR) can protect it. Intellectual property is an essential tool to secure value generated by software. However, the means to create such value can vary considerably depending on the exploitation scheme chosen and the related ecosystem for which the use of software developments are intended. The aim of this fact sheet is therefore to introduce the various IPR that can protect software, the main licensing schemes available and their respective potential business impact.

Licensing and assignments of intellectual property rights have become common in the market, and the use of these types of asset as loan security has grown. This new reality has given rise to the growing importance of valuation of intangibles. Trading an asset requires knowing its value. Several methodologies are commonly used in the market to value these assets. In this new fact sheet, the different methodologies will be explained and examples of scenarios of possible use of these methodologies are given. Different tools have been created by public organisations to assist companies performing valuations. These free tools will also be presented in this document to help you save time and money.

Joint ownership often arises in connection with collaborative innovation and is of particular relevance to EU-funded programmes, joint ventures and more generally to any research project involving the This fact sheet aims to highlight the most essential IP issues to be addressed when handling jointly owned assets in contractual arrangements, in order to avoid the joint ownership pitfalls. By ensuring that the ownership of the generated IP, and the related responsibility for its protection and defense, are correctly allocated, collaborative projects have more chance to be efficiently implemented and litigation between partners to be avoided.

This fact sheet identifies the key factors to create a well-conceived spin-off company with a main emphasis on the IP-related aspects that can contribute to its success. Spin-off is considered as a common practice in Universities and Research Organisations (ROs), in order for them to exploit and maximise the economic benefits of the knowledge created, as often these organisations lack the required capabilities to market their intangibles.

This booklet is a follow-up to the “Commercialising IP” series, providing an introduction to the forms of commercialisation that can be useful for people involved in exploitation of intangible assets. This particular fact sheet aims to clarify when licence agreements should be used. Moreover, in this document we highlight the key provisions seen in most licensing agreements, as well as the specifics of licensing certain types of intellectual property rights.

This fact sheet aims to clarify the ownership, inventorship and authorship concepts by explaining the different characteristics and shedding some light on the way they should be dealt with in order for any person involved in the creation of intangibles to properly identify them and avoid encountering serious problems.