DCU-IP focus

Report
What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual Property Experts
Christina Gates
Partner
Ph.D. EPA CPA RPA RTMA
What is Intellectual Property?
 Protection for creations of the intellect
 Patent - technical, functional innovations &
inventions
 Trademark - Symbols names, brands used in
commerce, goodwill of traders
 Designs -product aesthetic or appearance
 Copyright - right to stop others copying
literary and artistic works
Why protect IP?
 Competitive advantage
 Prevent counterfeiting/copying
 Property rights which can be assigned
or licensed
 An asset on balance sheet
 Tax incentive (patents)
 But – disclosure in return for monopoly
Patents
 Property that gives a temporary monopoly for
a particular technology
 It is an exclusive right that allows you to
prevent others from using your invention
 Novel: invention does not form part of state of
the art
 Inventive Step: invention is not obvious in
view of prior art
Patents
 Term is 20 years from the date of filing, or 10
years for short-term patents
 Territorial - Irish patent only gives you
exclusive rights in Ireland
 Convention priority system
 Must file initial application before disclosing
invention to the public
Some Patentable Inventions
 Machines and mechanical devices;
 Electronic and telecommunications equipment;
 Computer hardware and systems; computerimplemented methods;
 Pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals;
 Biotech products and methods;
 Manufacturing processes;
 Methods for treating materials;
 Improvements in any of the above.
Trademarks
 Operate as a guarantee of source and
of quality
 A trademark should not directly describe
the goods or services for which it is
used
Trademarks
 Invented word which has no meaning in any
language is ideal e.g. KODAK, PANADOL
 Fanciful version of a word or words may
contain an allusion to the goods or services,
e.g. WEETABIX, TAYTO, EIRCOM
 Dictionary word, applied out of context, e.g.
APPLE
 “ Covertly” descriptive words e.g. Night
Nurse, Airbus, Baby Dry.
Trademarks
 Register for particular goods and services for
which mark will be used
 Exclusive right to use the registered
trademark for those goods and services
 Territorial – national, regional, international
 Can be renewed indefinitely
Design registration
 Appearance of the whole or a part of a
product
 Resulting from the features of, in particular,
the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture
and/ or materials of the product itself and /or
its ornamentation
 Any industrial or handicraft item
Design registration
 Novel: no identical design made available to
the public before filing date
 Individual character: overall impression on
informed user is different to overall
impression created by any design made
available to the public before filing date
 Exclusive right to use the design
 Term is 25 years from filing
Copyright
 Protects original literary and artistic works
 Does not protect, ideas, concepts, styles,
techniques etc.
 Not a monopoly – right holder must be able to
prove copying in order for infringement to be
proven
 If a later work is independently created, no
infringement, even if identical
 No registration required
 70 years from death of author
Co-operation between Design,
Trademark and Patent protection
For example, Lenor® fabric softener
Design
Trademark
1:
2:
“Lenor”
Patent
Possible
protection for
composition
of fabric
softener
Pitfalls





Disclosing the invention before filing
Not using an NDA/Confidentiality Agreement
Not agreeing IP ownership when cooperating
Re-inventing the wheel
Creating IP that is already protected by
another
Questions?
Intellectual Property Experts
Christina Gates
European Patent and Trade Mark Attorney
[email protected]
www.tomkins.com

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