Wednesday, 11 January 2012

With the upcoming technologies, the global economy is growing very fast due to the year-by-year under profit balance-sheet of corporate multi-national companies. The same growth is not seen in various National and SME’s. One reason behind this poor growth in National and SME’s is lack of awareness about the hidden IP in their organizations. These organizations if make aware about those hidden IP’s which if get protection can earn huge revenue for the organization.

Introduction of IPR
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) refers to a set of exclusive rights which are product of our intellect or capability of mind. Intellectual Property (IP) is an intangible form of assets which can be broadly divided into two categories: a) Industrial property which covers inventions (patents), discoveries, trademarks, trade-secrets, industrial design, symbol, geographical indications of source; and b) Copyright which includes literary, musical and artistic works covering poems, novels, play-games, films, albums, drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures.

IPR vs. Business World
Intellectual Property (IP) can generate business if it is market driven, significant, economical and inventive. IP when protected legally and have market demand can become a valuable business asset. The strategic utilization of these assets can enhance the market value of the organization.

Patent is a set of exclusive rights given by the government (excluding others from selling, using or making the invention) to an inventor or its assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of the invention.

Intellectual Property (IP) in the form of Patents can help in changing innovative ideas into products which can generates business for the organization. For example, patents of novel drugs, novel and inventive mobile-phones technologies etc.

Any confidential business information which provides competitive edge to the organization over its competitors can be considered as trade secret. Trade secret includes sale methods, distribution methods, consumer profiles, advertising strategies, list of supplier and clients, and manufacturing process of the products.

One can earn huge compared to their competitors by protecting their IP in the form of Trade-Secret. Organization can maintain their trade-secret by limiting it to one person or by signing non-disclosure agreement with their employees e.g. Coca-Cola maintaining the secret of their flavor till-date and only two persons are familiar with that particular flavored compound.

Trademark is name, word, phrase, logo, symbol or a combination of these elements which distinct products, services of any individual or business organization from its competitors. Its unregistered symbol is ™ or and registered symbol is ®.

Trademark represents the face of any business organization in the form of quality products or better services and ultimately effecting sale of entrepreneur IP asset e.g. Coca-Cola, Horlicks, Xerox, Cadbury, Nestle etc.. Any organization can go for the licensing or franchising or assignment or transfer of its reputed trademark / service-mark to any third party against any fixed amount of money. For example, franchising of McDonalds, KFC etc. over the globe.

A patent owner only has the right to use, sale, transfer, license and mortgage the patent. A license to use the patent can be with or without the transfer of any interest in the patent.

Inventor or owner of the patent can seek a high amount as royalty for licensing the patent to any third party or for transferring the know-how of the patented technology. The loyalty can be as advance single payment or yearly payment. The research organizations or those organizations which are not capable to commercialize the patented technology can license / transfer know-how of their patented technology.

Copyright in simple words is “right to copy.” Copyright gives exclusive rights to creator of an original work for a limited period of time by the concerned government. Its symbol is ©.

One can prevent others to use his/her copyrighted ideas and can license / transfer his/her copyright to any third person or publishing house against a sum of money as royalty. The publishing house can produce a large number of copies for selling in global or territorial market and can earn good revenue.

f)       Business from Industrial Designs / Design Patents

Industrial designs (ID) mean design applied to any industrial article or product. Industrial Design is a combination of creative art and applied technology to improve the artistic and market value of the product. Designs are patentable only in United States of America while designs are registerable in Kenya, Japan, South Korea and Hungary. In India, designs are protected under copyright act. Some examples of design are: bottle design, motorbike design, motorcar design, computer icon design, photo-frame design etc.

Organizations in the business world are constantly trying to improve the product’s marketability and production which can be easily achieved by using attractive and easily useable industrial design of their products e.g. design of soft-drinks bottle. The resulting increase in sales of the product increase revenue of the organizations.
Finally, we can conclude that Intellectual Property (IP) can be the best source of building revenue and to get competitive edge over competitors for various organizations but the need is to identify and utilize that IP in your organization.

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