A minute for your Feedback please

Monday, September 19, 2011

Beyond IPR-how companies protect their intellectual property

I enrolled for the elective 'Strategic Management of Intellectual Property rights' taken by the legendary Prof Anil Gupta. During the second session, while discussing the terminator gene technology, he explained that the best way to protect intellectual property is often without legal protection. This comment of his sparked off some thinking in me, and below are the examples I came up with, as substitutes for the below IPRs.
  • Patents;-Incomplete(from angle of copying) patent applications often compel wouldbe imitators to approach the patent assignee for the exact technical know how for working the patent, and theteby prevents imitation.
  • Copyrights:- Digital Rights Management(DRM) is used to protect copyrights from unauthorized use and copying. This is analogous to the terminator gene technology used to protect Bt seeds.
  • Trademarks:-This is maybe the only IPR for which law is the best protection.
  • Trade Secrets:-By definition, this cannot be protected if not disclosed. Hence, contractual forms of control are exercised to protect this as in the Coke formula.
  • Designs:- Companies like the centuries old TBZ keep changing their designs, so they do not deem it fit to register their designs. But given the high profile of their clients, any piracy is soon brought to light there.

No comments: