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Proprietary Technology

There is no question that companies need to innovate to survive. Patents are normally the most effective way of protecting technological innovations where there is an underlying concept that is novel. Know-how (and trade secrets) are also helpful for protecting aspects of technology that can be kept confidential, such as manufacturing processes which are not easily reverse-engineered.

Patents are a trade-off between disclosure and exclusivity, where you disclose your invention to the public in exchange for a monopoly that is commensurate with the extent to which it is novel. The scope of your monopoly is defined very specifically in the patent after extensive negotiation with the Patent Office in each territory. As a result, patents tend to be the most expensive intellectual property right to secure.

Know-how is normally protected through confidentiality, often through contractual obligations, so upfront costs tend to be low but keeping the information confidential and enforcing the rights that protect them can be complex and expensive. It is usual for companies to rely on patents to protect novel concepts incorporated in their products and to rely on know-how to protect aspects of the implementation of those concepts. Often, patents are filed early in the R&D process and know-how is developed throughout, with updates to the patent strategy made along the way.

The value of any innovation depends on the commercial impact it has (or has the potential to have) on the business. Patents and know-how are simply commercial tools that enable a company to leverage R&D efforts to improve its commercial position. The creation of value in these rights requires the innovations that they protect to be exploited. The best way to do this is to have an outcome-oriented R&D strategy, which is aligned with the company's overall strategy and which is supported by the most appropriate IP.

As you will see from our approach, we are an outcome-oriented business focused on helping you to achieve the maximum return on your R&D spend. For more information, please contact us to discuss how we can help you write the next chapter in your business' success.

 

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