Intellectual property is the product of the human intellect including creativity concepts, inventions, industrial models, trademarks, songs, literature, symbols, names, brands, etc. Intellectual Property Rights do not differ from other property rights. They allow their owner to completely benefit from his/her product which was initially an idea that developed and crystallized. They also entitle him/her to prevent others from using, dealing or tampering with his/her product without prior permission from him/her. He/she can in fact legally sue them and force them to stop and compensate for any damages.

Intellectual property (IP) protection is absolutely critical for protecting a company’s proprietary designs, processes, and inventions that, if leaked to competitors or made public, could ruin a company’s market advantage and reputation or lead to costly litigation. Engineers are often on the front line of innovation. As consultants, they also share intimate details of their clients’ designs, materials, products, and processes—highly confidential work. Some scientists, however, are more interested in focusing on the technology and don’t always realize the finer (or more nebulous) points of protecting IP.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), intellectual property refers to “creations of the mind: inventions, literary, and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. IP is divided into two categories: industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; and copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs.” Engineers, then, are professional innovators who work in the realm of industrial property and are often the first involved in creating a proprietary design or invention.

 

Why does it matters to the Engineers?

In the business world for intellectual property (IP) and patents in particular, I see a gap in the information provided. In the media, there is talk of patent trolls and patent wars; for people like me, there are esoteric high-brow tomes reflecting deeply upon the impenetrable depth of IP case law. There are also business books about commercialization that mention IP and what forms it takes. None really grapple with the everyday misconceptions and pitfalls in relation to IP.

So without any footnotes, references or other thickeners that would turn my words into a viscous glue, I set forth my personal views on IP, with the usual disclaimer that nothing here constitutes legal advice and that legal advice should be taken. Everything is general and, of course, there are exceptions to all generalities. Can you name any inventor who is not famous? Or can you name any female inventor other than Marie Curie? Many cannot, so if you are not an inventor and do not know any inventors, it is unlikely you have seen IP such as patent in action in everyday business life.

Some people may have copyright, trademarks and design materials but other than express the view that it is somehow their stuff, they cannot usually properly articulate what exactly they own. More particularly, it is probably clear that in a lot of cases that when analyzed there is no protected and possibly no protectable IP, often because it has been lost.

Lack of role models has created lack of awareness. This, in turn, means while you might suspect you have some form of IP, there is a difficulty expressing what it might be. The upshot may be that the IP is not being properly protected or commercialized. More likely, the IP protection boat has been missed. For example, something that was patentable is now not because it went into the public domain. Confidential information, ideas and know how have not been protected by proper contractual arrangements. Brands have been left unprotected or worse still all user rights are with a distributer or retailer.

Thus, engineers need to be made aware of the prevailing importance of the IPR in their professional front. They should know that it’s just not about being in their core sector but also about protecting what they do in the core sector.

IPR has always been a key tool for various industries, and people from technical field should been enlightened about what lies beyond their core grounds. IPR industries have always welcomed the technical in their industries, moreover growth provided to them by our IP sector is marvel