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Intellectual Property Law
The inclusion of intellectual property rights in an organization is found to encourage the research and development department to advance more innovations. This is because the rights provide the investors with adequate financial incentives innovate. The financial incentives include protection of the investors’ rights to control and make decisions on who is officiated to use the invention and how those inventions are to be used. This essay introduces the intellectual property law on the developing of the intellectual property for Greentech Ltd. The essay will outline how best the various intellectual properties it owns can be managed and used for future innovation. The essay will mostly focus on the management of low-carbon technology. The examples of the intellectual property include trademarks, patents, copyrights, and licenses. The Greentech Company has adopted all the types of intellectual properties.
Intellectual Property Portfolio
The intention of the managing director is to engage the management in the development of a strategy that will lead the company to maximizing the outputs obtained from the Research Division. The Research Division is currently employing around 30 research scientists to work on a number of projects. The strategy is also meant to enable the company to acquire the stakes in the outputs of the research and the ideas of investors. This approach will facilitate a faster entry of the new ideas into the target market. The company has a number of intellectual properties ranging from licenses, copyrights, trademarks, and literature to patents and high skilled research staff. The literatures are mostly protected by patents, which give the company the rights to control its usage. The technologies and brands are mainly protected through copyrights, trademarks, and licenses. The whole idea of protecting intellectual property is to help encourage innovation on the part of the company in terms of its products and services and to prevent the competitor companies from taking over or stealing the ideas (Scudder 2011).
Management of the Patent
The Greentech Ltd has a number of patents. The company currently holds a total of 10 patents that were granted between the years 2000 and 2011. The intention of the company is to patent the outputs both in the areas where they have yielded strong returns and where they have turned out not to do so well. The company has also developed a market leading technology, but it has halted due to lack of capital to fund the technology. The company has also failed to patent that technology. A number of patent strategies have been put forth so that the patents can be managed and protected. Those strategies mostly apply to the literature-based innovation (Leonardo 2011).
The first strategy of managing the patents is the ad hoc strategy, which is mostly used when the resources are limited or scarce. The protection applies to only special applications or innovations. The cost of this kind of protection is low and it allows for many other possibilities to be explored. It is also most applicable to the not so developed companies. The other strategy used is the sniper strategy. This involves the covering of the original or the parent technology and disregarding the protection of any modifications or improvements done to the core technology. This strategy is disadvantageous where the core technology is reported obsolete or invalid and the modification can be done by any other competitor without breaching any law (Mark 2013).
The other applicable strategy is known as blocking. This strategy refers to the situation where the company is not ready to use the patents to protect the idea, but rather uses them against its competitor as a viable alternative. The blanketing and the flooding strategy apply in a manufacturing process, where the certainty of the benefits of a given technology is questionable. Every step of the process is therefore patented. The prestige strategy is used mostly by the academic and research institutions, who may file an application, so that their latest research work can be identified and recognized (Mark 2013).
The last strategy that can be used in the management of a patent is the scarecrow. The idea here is to scare the competitors from using the idea patented. The owner, however, is likely not to have any intentions to enforce the rights of that patent. The insinuation is to keep the competitors away from the area he or she has protected. This strategy is more common to those industries that are frequently faced with patent disputes (Mark 2013).
Based on the knowledge of all these strategies, the Greentech could use the blanketing and flooding strategy to patent the technologies that it has developed but has not yet completed it. This implies that the technology is a step-by-step process and will be completed at a further date. This will protect the ideas from being taken by a competitor, who may want to complete it faster and generate benefits. The company should use the sniper strategy to patent the outputs. This is because the outputs could be improved or modified any time in the future and it would be costly to keep on patenting the modifications made (Leonardo 2011).
Management of Licenses
Greentech Ltd has also taken key steps in protecting its technologies. Some of the generic licenses that are used include the exclusive license, where the only licensee is given the licensed rights. This could include using the trademarks in different geographical areas. Another type of license is the non-exclusive license, where the rights granted to a given licensee may be spread to other parties; for instance, a software product could be licensed to a given company, but used by other competitors. The other type of the license is the patent license. Here, the owner of the patent is granted the legal right to control or authorize the use or sale or manufacture or import of a service or product that is related to the protected item (Leonardo 2011).
Another example of a license strategy is the joint development license. This involves a case where one company enters into an agreement with another company in an effort to utilize the resources of each of the company. The joint development license grants each party specific rights when marketing the product or service so as to avert conflict after the product is developed. The cross license represents two licenses that are combined into an agreement. This licensing is done when the two parties have an interest in each other’s rights. The agreement therefore allows them to share those rights. The conditional license is created when two parties enter into a contract. The parties agree that the failure of one party to implement or achieve a specific item will provoke creation of a license. The last strategy is the sub license that gives the licensee the authority or power to license the intellectual property to others. This occurs where the patent portfolio is the subject matter (Leonardo 2011).
Greentech Company Ltd has not registered for a trademark for its literature. Applications for registration are normally filled in the National Trademark Office or delegate office. The protection declaration is normally attached to the application together with a card that contains the list of goods and services to be protected and a receipt to confirm payment. The company attaches the trademark to all its literature, but has not registered for it yet (Leonardo 2011).
This type of intellectual property does not necessarily suit the industry property. It lies in categories relating to literary and artistic works, for instance, novels, poems, drawings, and sculptures. The copyright is protected for individuals who have published their work for the first time. Some countries offer automatic copyrights to the owners. Greentech Ltd should protect its marketing and publicity material. There is a registration procedure that goes with the receipt of copyright (Berrong 2013).
Intellectual Property Portfolio Management
This involves analysing of the existing intellectual property system and developing strategic plans that strengthen, protect, and leverage the intangible assets in a bid to increase the revenues. The aim is also to identify the upcoming market opportunities, while avoiding large capital expenditures. It involves analysing and examining the distribution channels to ensure that they are effective. It also involves the analyses of the market partners or the competitors to ensure provision of quality products or services. In addition, the management involves repairing the channels that are broken or ineffective and determines whether they need more control over such channels to increase the yields (Russell and Gordon 2011).
In order to manage the intellectual assets, a system that creates and organizes the intellectual property should be set. This system will organize and prioritize the company’s intellectual property. In case such a move is not adequate, the lawyers can monitor development in the market. Monitoring of the market entails research on the competitors, international activities, patent applications and license agreements maintenance. The system manages the company’s current intellectual asset program, managing the systems developed internally. These systems allocate new technology and innovations (Russell and Gordon 2011).
Another important way of managing intellectual property is through leveraging the portfolio assets. Leveraging the assets creates value. It also ensures growth for the investors and strengthens the existing channels of the market. An example of such a system that can be used in the management of the portfolio intellectual property is the solutions decipher. The system gives a complete view of the portfolio assets. The system also depicts the relationship that exists among people, activities and assets, and goes beyond intellectual property management. It analyses the portfolio through monitoring of the trends in the industry and enables the firm to make strategic decisions in line with the business strategy (Russell and Gordon 2011).
The Importance of the Human Element in the Management of the Intellectual Property
It is important to note that intellectual property is created, managed, sold, and enforced by human beings. Every stage of intellectual property is carried out or executed by human beings. The stages include development, registration, maintaining, and exploitation of the intellectual property assets. Greentech Ltd should value and acknowledge the skills of its research staff. Some people are to be responsible for conception or innovation of the idea, prosecution and exploitation of the patent monopoly. Other people are responsible for managing the intellectual property portfolio through seeking to set the assets strategically to ensure the company stays ahead of the competitors (Christopher, Kramer, & Frankel 2013).
Special consideration should be given to the actual creators of the intellectual property assets, that is, scientists, engineers, and business people. These are the same people who are expected to create more intellectual properties in the future. Investors should meet with the individuals responsible for the company’s intellectual property assets. Losing such people to competitors is a major blow to the company, which will have all its procedures exposed. The human element in the intellectual property development includes the creators. These are the engineers, the scientists, and the attorneys who develop the idea; as well as the officers and the directors who set up the IP strategy (Christopher, Kramer, & Frankel 2013).
In-house counsel is responsible for detailing the IP strategy. The lawyers guide the management on the intellectual property law. They are also responsible for ensuring the tasks are allocated to the responsible parties. The outside intellectual property counsels are responsible for executing the intellectual property strategy. These are responsible for the patenting, licensing, negotiations, and prosecutions. The customers and licensees are responsible for purchasing of the intellectual property. They provide an evaluation of the value of the property. The competitors challenge the intellectual property (Christopher, Kramer & Frankel 2013).
Recommendations and Importance
The first step the managing director has to take to ensure complete management of the intellectual property is registering all the types of protection available. For instance, the manager has to register the trademarks they are using for their publication material. I would also recommend the use of the three-dimension strategy, which includes providing the customer with the best quality of the service with a source that is legitimate. Encouraging the companies that deal with the distribution of the infrastructure to work with the content companies to deter the digital thieves is the second strategy. The last strategy is working with the law enforcement and report any cases of violation. This will help eliminate the illegal activities. This three-dimension strategy will enable the company to overcome the threat posed by Greencarb PLC (Berrong 2013).
Having analysed the various strategies Greentech Ltd can use to manage its intellectual property assets, the best method is use of a software management system. This system ensures effectiveness in the monitoring of new technologies and updating the information regarding the intellectual property. This essay has articulated the types of intellectual properties available at Greentech Ltd and proposed the best strategy to use in managing the portfolio. The essay has also outlined the recommendations that the company should adopt, especially including the human element in the management of the property.