Why you should protect yourself ?
Intellectual property, a strategic asset for enterprises
In a highly competitive globalised environment, where power is built on continuous inventiveness, the protection of creations and where it is increasingly difficult to compete with low-cost countries, intellectual property constitutes a major economic and strategic asset both for companies and also for nations.
For companies, more than a mere protection, intellectual property is an instrument of conquest and communication.
A carefully-considered intellectual property policy makes a significant contribution to:
- the defence and conquest of markets
- the image the enterprise wishes to project
- the value of its intellectual property rights because it can assign or license them.
A company which knows how to defend itself is respected and renowned.
Its portfolio of intellectual property constitutes the wealth of the company, and it may draw significant benefits from the valuation these assets.
The CNCPI recommends launching an incisive innovation and intellectual property plan to motivate companies to use Intellectual Property to:
- develop a general intellectual property culture to better understand the mechanisms of intellectual property, its strategic character and its economic impact;
- provide incentive and support measures for companies to make greater use of intellectual property, particularly the research tax credit;
- make France, and Paris in particular, an attractive judicial hub for intellectual property with a real centre of excellence in this field, bringing together and reinforcing the competences of judges;
- develop a global service offer and link the professions of intellectual property attorney and lawyer.
QUESTIONS - ANSWERS
Why is intellectual property a strategic asset for companies ?
A patent, a trademark, a design or a copyright grants the right to prohibit third parties from exploiting that which is protected. More generally, if companies exploit all the resources of intellectual property, it is a source of information, valued perhaps by contractual agreements, and must be evaluated within the framework of the new International Accounting Standards (IFRS).
For the company, intellectual property is an instrument of conquest and communication; a carefully thought-out policy of intellectual property is a considerable arm for the defence and conquest of markets as well as for the image the company wishes to project.
- As a defensive weapon, intellectual property protects the rights of inventors and innovative enterprises
- As an offensive weapon, it provides all economic operators with the means to win markets
- As a dissuasive weapon, the mere threat of it often suffices to avoid legal proceedings
In the context of international competition, intellectual property is a strategic means of competition for companies, enabling them to legally constrain their competitors by limiting their freedom to maneuver, placing them in a situation of dependency, and in extreme circumstances, excluding them from the market. This is why leading or commercially aggressive countries are so concerned and active regarding intellectual property .
Companies may reap important benefits, both in terms of profitability and image enhancement.
What actions does the CNCPI recommend so that companies become more aware of the assets represented by intellectual property ?
Understanding, training, fostering, motivating, building confidence and communicating - these are the six lines of action that the CNCPI recommends to:
How can companies optimise the management of their intellectual property rights ?
1 – Protect yourself well in France and abroad, with the expertise of your French Patent & Trademark Attorney, regarding:
- better understand the mechanisms of innovation and intellectual property, by developing studies and research in the subject;
- train everyone in companies who deal with questions of intellectual property to use the tools to master the strategic and economic aspects of intellectual property;
- foster the development of intellectual property, beginning with an attractive, dynamic and audacious professional French branch of intellectual property for export;
- motivate by taking real incentive measures, for example to favour capital financing needs, or to ensure that the value of intellectual property rights be better understood by financial institutions, or to reinforce the relationship between public and private research, or on the fiscal level;
- build confidence by being attentive to the quality of patents, trademarks, and designs;
- communicate by demonstrating the utility and mechanisms of intellectual property, which remain little understood.
- Ensure the patentability of an invention by avoiding any disclosure prior to filing the patent application
- Verify the freedom to exploit an invention with regard to the rights of third parties
- Define who will be the patent owner based on the inventor’s status
2 – Manage well, with the help of your French Patent & Trademark Attorney:
- Verify the availability of the sign (trademarks, domain names, company names, etc.)
- Define who will be the trademark owner (person, legal entity)
- Ensure the validity of the sign (e.g. non-descriptive, distinctive)
- Define the best adapted and most legally reliable descriptions of products and services
- Complete protection by the reservation of one or more Internet domain names
- Choose the best formula to file the trademark abroad (national / international / European channels)
3 – To be well organised:
- Anticipate by filing as soon as possible
- Make a regular inventory of your rights (strengths and weaknesses)
- Select the trademarks to be renewed and/or the patents to be maintained or abandoned
- Enhance your rights by, for example, granting licences
- Exploit your trademarks to avoid forfeiture actions
- Monitor deadlines (not only those for renewals)
- Establish/Draft the contracts which accompany the exploitation of the patent or trademark.
Managing your trademarks and patents is not only about filing and renewing, but also about building a policy and strategy, developed with your French Patent & Trademark Attorney to control all the sometimes complex and technical aspects that require the daily assistance of a specialist.
- Define a real strategy with your French Patent & Trademark Attorney
- Train your employees (marketing, legal etc.) about intellectual property
- Create an "intellectual property" culture in your enterprise
- Communicate about your rights
- Define short- and medium-term objectives
- Monitor competition
- Regularly perform a legal and financial audit of your entire portfolio in order to calculate the return on investment from intellectual property
- Evaluate patents and trademarks especially with regard to new partnerships, a sale, or a transfer…
- Be aware of the value of your rights
- Enforce your rights and attack in case of infringement
Research Tax Credit
IEEPI - European Institute for Enterprise and Intellectual Property
INPI – French Patent and Trademark Office
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