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Commercialising and Protecting Intellectual Property

Rehman Noormohamed - Intellectual Property Lawyer
Rehman Noormohamed is a partner at Michelmores who heads up a team of specialist lawyers which is dedicated to advising clients on the commercialisation of intellectual property. He explained in a workshop hosted by Jordans that the value of intellectual property is not in its creation and development but in its commercialisation.

It was interesting to hear from other people attending the workshop the concerns that they had about intellectual property. The two overriding concerns that people had were:

  1. how do you develop strategies that will take maximum commercial advantage from the intellectual property that a company has; and
  2. how do you avoid taking risks with your intellectual property?

It was evident that many companies recognised that they had intellectual property but did not have a clear vision of how they could exploit it to derive maximum competitive advantage.

There were also companies that were well progressed in implementing IP projects but were confronted with issues particularly where they were venturing into new territories.  There was one instance where a UK manufacturer had embarked upon a worldwide project to licence manufacturers in many different countries to use their technology to produce the product and distribute it within specified geographic regions.

This type of project throws up all types of issues particularly given that the law regarding intellectual property varies enormously within different jurisdictions throughout the world.  There are many countries that have well established IP legislation but each one will have its own nuances of which you must be aware. The European Commission recognises that the IP landscape in the EU is fragmented and enforcement is imperfect.  Then there are those jurisdictions in other parts of the world where IP legislation will do almost nothing to protect you.

One of Rehman's colleagues, Dennis Lee, gave examples of well-known western brands being registered by their manufacturers in the Far East, in some of these jurisdictions there is little that can legally be done to prevent such appropriation. Tom Torkar, also of Michelmores, discussed the global opportunities that the internet offers for commercial exploitation but also explained the importance of tailoring the online business for the relevant target territories and ensuring that your online business complies with the laws and regulations of the target territories.

Quite clearly you not only need to develop strategies that will help your business grow by exploiting your intellectual property but at the same time you have to make sure that you put in place safeguards that will protect your intellectual property.
How to protect your intellectual property - free Intellectual Property Fact Sheet
To help you consider what you need to do, we have produced a fact sheet containing 10 top tips for protecting your intellectual property. Click the button on the right or download it from here.

I look forward to you developing the right IP strategy.

Stephen Smith
Managing Director
UK Training (Worldwide) Limited



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