5 Ways to Protect IP During a Pandemic

The spread of the COVID-19 virus around the world is forcing a new “work-from-home” environment. And it is likely that this environment will last past the pandemic, or at least continue in some version. As the days move into months, many people and businesses continue to adapt to changes in an effort to keep businesses afloat and salvage the economy. These changes require new ways of solving problems, presenting innovations, and protecting intellectual property. Therefore, while the pandemic has changed business as well as personal lives, it is important to remain diligent when it comes to intellectual property protection. The following list introduces five ways to remain competitive and protect IP during these uncertain times:

1. File on time. Everyone is adjusting to changes in the way we live and how we conduct business during the pandemic. Much focus is on salvaging jobs, worrying about future security, and remaining competitive. As such, it is even more important to meet IP application deadlines to avoid missed opportunities. It is especially critical to remember that the patent system remains a “first inventor to file” system. Therefore, it is important to continue pursuing patents amid the pandemic. With IP representing some of the most lucrative assets in a company, it is important not to let IP fall to the wayside.

2. Meet maintenance deadlines. While companies continue to contend with changes in conducting business, they must keep on top of IP maintenance deadlines. It could be detrimental to companies that let maintenance fees lapse-especially in such uncertain times. As many things continue to change and remain uncertain, those who stay on top of IP maintenance deadlines provide the best protection for their assets.

3. Look for infringing activity. As more business is conducted remotely, the potential for cybercrime increases. Therefore, while companies continue to focus on all other business aspects during the pandemic, more risks exists in infringing activities. As such, companies must keep an eye on and address any infringing behavior in the market.

4. Continue innovating. It is easy to get lost amid the turmoil affecting the world right now. However, those who remain positive about the future and offer new innovations will likely overcome and succeed the most.

5. Protect content. With more business conducted online, the risk of infringement increases regarding online content. It is wise to invest in copyrights regularly to protect original content and keep others from stealing or misusing that content. Copyright application costs are cheap compared to any other IP, making copyrights appealing in adding value to business.

As we all continue to work through the changes made by the pandemic, it remains crucial to keep on top of IP protection measures. These simple methods can provide a world of protection amid a world of uncertainty.

Tech Transfers: Essential to Innovation

Many companies provide a plethora of innovations. For instance, IBM, Samsung, Microsoft, Intel, and Sony own tens of thousands of patents for their innovations. But did you know that the products these companies sell contain inventions owned by other companies? For instance, Samsung and Google have a cross-license so that they can share innovations to enhance their products and take advantage of the expertise and intellectual property of each company. This helps them avoid unnecessary patent disputes. In the end, it is a win-win for them. However, there are smaller organizations that play a factor in products sold by large companies. These include technology transfer offices.

Educational institutions such as universities and research centers are invaluable to the innovative world. These institutions teach and train students with insurmountable information that they take with them to start careers, provide much-needed skills in the world, advance technology, and create cures, among many other things. While these institutes educate attendees, many of them also provide a place for attendees to develop and create important innovations that make a big difference in the world. As such, many universities have technology transfer offices.

Technology transfer offices patent and copyright discoveries developed in their labs. They then license the intellectual property to businesses that can turn the discoveries into beneficial products. At the beginning of this year, Caltech won a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple and Broadcom for a whopping $1.1 billion. This is just one case of the value technology transfers provide industries.

According to the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), its more than 3,000 members from more than 800 universities offer more than 22,000 technologies for licensing. To further highlight their value, check out their contributions in just a little over two decades:

  • Contributed $1.7 trillion to U.S. gross industrial output.
  • Contributed $865 billion to gross domestic output.
  • Supported 5.9 million jobs.
  • Disclosed more than 420,000 inventions.
  • Received more than 100,000 issued patents.
  • Formed more than 13,000 startups.

Technology transfers in some instances can be invaluable to our society and the world over. If you have ever questioned or wondered about the role of technology transfer offices, check out all of the work being done through them to tackle the  COVID-19 issue we are currently facing.