I attended an intellectual property workshop in Moncton today. It was at the DDx Health Strategies boardroom, a good location with lots of LAN ports and wi-fi. Of course, I hadn’t brought any devices as I assumed that the place would be locked-down. Lesson for next time.
The presentation was good, by a lawyer from Miller Thomson. I noted, “good presenter, but too much use of bullets on slides, should buy copy of Presentation Zen“. A common criticism of many presenters, I’m finding, today (should follow TED Talks examples).
Highlights on IP, Patents and Trademarks:
1st Question to ask yourself: “What would a competitor need to use to compete effectively?”
IP = results of innovation that have market results.
Conversion to IP: Informal Knowledge => Formal Knowledge (codified assets) => Protected Assets (patents, trademarks, copyright)
Note: Several examples showed how patents stifle innovation, especially in software development.
Advice to Market Entrants: Attack incumbent patents early and confirm their validity.
Patents: Cover new technology but not business methods. Make sure you have clarified and know the difference. All applications should include “use cases” and make sure you have checked your industry for “patent trolls”.
An interesting aside: It seems that China is embracing patents because soon it will become a net exporter of technology, so it needs to protect its investment. At the same time, trademarks are not afforded the same protection and will continue to be appropriated.
Bottom Line: If you are developing intellectual property, get legal advice from a firm that understands this stuff.