IP strategy and management in an SME

The European IPR Helpdesk is pleased to release a new case study showing a good example of an SME that has developed efficient IP strategy and management practices. The case puts forward the idea that the pre-condition for successfully carrying out business activities is not only based on the mere knowledge of IP but mainly on the will of the company to properly manage its intangible asset to reap the full benefits from it.

Follow the link below and discover how!

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Commercialising Intellectual Property: Joint Ventures

“Commercialising IP” is a series of fact sheets aiming to provide an introduction to the forms of commercialisation that can be useful for less advanced public likely to be involved in the exploitation of intangible assets. Content provided therein is not intended to be exhaustive and professional advice is strongly recommended when it comes to choose the most suitable commercialisation practice to your organisation.

The present fact sheet focuses on joint ventures (JV) and will put forward some practical and legal issues, mainly from the perspective of the ownership and exploitation of IP, to be considered at all stages of these projects. It tries to point out that if organisations anticipated and properly managed most of the legal risks, they would be able to maximise the financial gains that such settlements are aimed at.  Overall, joint ventures have the goal to further develop and/or commercialise intellectual assets belonging to existing organisations, through a separate legal entity or in project collaborations. In both cases, venture partners will license or assign their IP for it to be used for the scope of the JV.  Joint venture practices are widely spread across the industry sectors, but also occur in the academic environment.

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Leveraging patents for business growth

IP rights are meant to provide companies with a solid foundation for their business success. Patent portfolios, in particular, can be an exceptional means to exploit innovation in the market place and establish business partnerships. This case study shows that even a small company with little money can succeed in a competitive market environment and win against bigger competitors if such a company can leverage its business value using patent rights. Furthermore, thanks to patents' strength and to their efficient management, investors are attracted by the perspective of long-term economic benefits deriving from a business that is IP-protected.

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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms

The successful development and commercialisation of technology requires a carefully integrated dispute resolution strategy as a key factor in securing the value of technologies and associated intellectual property (IP) rights developed in research and development (R&D) collaborations and their subsequent commercialisation.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms include several procedures that allow parties to resolve their disputes out of court in a private forum, with the assistance of a qualified neutral intermediary of their choice. ADR procedures are offered by different arbitral institutions. 

Our fact sheet on "Efficient Resolution of Disputes in R&D Collaborations, Licensing and Other Technology Transfer" provides an overview of WIPO ADR mechanisms, principles, advantages and case examples to assist SMEs, universities, research centres, researchers and others in making a considered choice on how to resolve future or existing disputes when drafting contract clauses and submission agreements.

This fact sheet has been developed in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center and was updated in September 2016.

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How to manage confidential business information

We are pleased to announce that the European IPR Helpdesk has released a new fact sheet on “How to manage confidential business information” with the aim of pointing out the importance of confidentiality for businesses and give hints on protection management of confidential business information, which could prove beneficial in particular to small and micro entities.

Such information can certainly have a great commercial value and significant importance for the company concerned and its uncontrolled disclosure might potentially lead to serious consequences. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular may not be aware of this risk and thus of the importance of keeping this valuable information “confidential”.

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How to reap the benefit of standardisation in R&D

This document, developed in collaboration with CEN (the European Committee for Standardization) and CENELEC (the European Committee for Electro-technical Standardization), seeks to improve the mutual awareness and collaboration between standardisation and the research communities. While doing so, this fact sheet focuses on an aspect that is close to researchers' heart: can they participate in and contribute to standardisation without losing the opportunity to exploit their research outcomes through other channels?

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How to deal with IP-related issues in transnational negotiations

Negotiating intellectual property (IP) transactions is not an easy task and can be extremely demanding. In order to avoid common missteps, there are some considerations that any person negotiating IP assets should bear in mind. First and foremost, as negotiations are deemed to start before sitting at the negotiating table, carefully preparing oneself beforehand proves to be fundamental for beneficial and successful discussions. For this reason, this new fact sheet has the purpose of getting you prepared not only during the process but well in advance.

Therefore, this document aims to focus on some of the key aspects related to IP asset negotiations, mainly at transnational level, where the negotiating parties’ objectives are broader, given the breadth of the marketplace. Although all these aspects are generally considered crucial when negotiating an IP transaction, they should be consistent with the type of agreement you are dealing with and address the transaction's specific issues.

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Non-disclosure agreement: a business tool

This new publication aims at clarifying when and why to use this type of agreement, as well as the meaning of the key provisions commonly used. Examples of non-disclosure agreements are also provided at the end of the fact sheet to assist you in case you are drafting your own contract. If you are an SME, a researcher or work at a University you will also find in this fact sheet several practical hints addressing your own specific problems.

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