Joint ownership often arises in connection with collaborative innovation and is of particular relevance to EU-funded programmes, joint ventures and more generally to any research project entailing the co-development of intellectual property (IP). The present fact sheet aims to highlight the most essential IP issues to be addressed when handling jointly owned assets in contractual arrangements, in order to avoid common pitfalls, and help collaborative research teams to smoothly implement their projects and successfully exploit joint IP.
Risks of investing in non-original design or filing an application for identical or confusingly similar design can be avoided or at least limited by performing design searching.This fact sheet focusses on the main characteristics of design searching as a best practice allowing companies and designers to keep up with the latest market trends and look at designs that may impede the possibility to acquire protection or infringe the rights on their design creations.
Copyright is an intellectual property right (IPR) that grants authors, artists and other creators protection for their literary, artistic and scientific creations, generally referred to as “works”. No matter if you are a copyright owner or a copyright user, understanding the copyright basics is crucial to any business. The present fact sheet provides insights into the copyright regime and illustrates the importance of copyright protection for businesses.
IP Enforcement: Asserting Your Rights
Intellectual property (IP) can be protected by formal IP rights such as trademarks or patents. Usually, these titles grant their owner the right to exclude others from using or commercialising, for example, an invention protected by a patent.
This process of not allowing others to use or commercialise protected IP is known as enforcement of rights. This fact sheet illustrates the importance of IP enforcement for businesses and research organisations while providing an overview of the main enforcement actions, together with the latest developments and initiatives of the European Commission in the field.
Trade Secrets: Managing Confidential Business Information
Oftentimes significant research or business information might not fall within the scope of protection provided by traditional intellectual property (IP) rights such as patents or copyright. In addition, some businesses may not find it appropriate for this information to be protected through IP rights. Nevertheless, that information might be extremely valuable for an organisation’s success and competitiveness, and should thus be kept confidential.
Information that is kept confidential in order to preserve competitive gains is referred to as “trade secrets”. This fact sheet illustrates the importance of trade secrets for businesses and provides insight into trade secret protection and management.
Commercialising IP: Licence Agreements
Undoubtedly, licensing is one of the most common pathways to turn intellectual property (IP) into profit and transferring knowledge between different parties – be it from a research organisation to a company or from one business entity to another.
This fact sheet deals with the different forms of commercial licence agreements, and aims to clarify when such an agreement should be used. Moreover, it highlights key provisions that form part of most licensing agreements and explains the specifics of licensing certain types of IP rights.
Non-Disclosure Agreement: a Business Tool
Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), otherwise called confidentiality agreements, are private contracts through which valuable information is kept safe. These agreements can be very useful for researchers and organisations involved in R&D projects – be it at national or European level.
However, it is important to understand their scope of application, as well as the provisions commonly used in these agreements. This will allow you to understand when and how to use such an agreement, but also to be in the know of your potential obligations when signing it.
The aim of this fact sheet is, therefore, to clarify when and why to use NDAs, and explain the meaning of its key provisions.
IP in the Fashion Industry
Europe is home to some of history’s most important textile and fashion inventions and a number of the most celebrated designers, manufacturers, innovators and artists, such as Coco Chanel, Giorgio Armani and Christian Dior, to name a few. Today, the EU textile and clothing sector remains an SME-based industry. Companies with less than 50 employees account for over 90% of the workforce and produce almost 60% of the value added. Clothing and textile is also a global industry with the chain of production, wholesale and retail including dozens of stakeholders and spanning many continents.
Trademarks: The Face of Your Business
Trademarks might be one of the best-known Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). From a consumer perspective, consciously or unconsciously, we are all drawn by our favourite brands and the values associated with it. From a business perspective, your trademark is the face of your business. You should take great care in choosing, designing and protecting it, use it diligently in advertising, and monitor the market for any potential infringement.
IP in the Field of Renewable Energies
Renewable energy is energy from sources that do not diminish or that can be replenished. These are also referred to as “green” or “clean” energies, because the energy production does not generate greenhouse emissions or air pollutants. This fact sheet intends to gives an overview (from a European perspective) of central IP questions relevant for this dynamic energy sector.
New Directive on Copyright and Related Rights in the Digital Single Market
On 15 April 2019, the European Council approved the Directive on Copyright and Related Rights in the Digital Single Market. This Directive intends to make EU copyright rules fit for the digital age. In this fact sheet, we provide you with an overview of the most important changes and legal implications and take a look at the next steps.