What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property refers to original creative works of the mind or intellect and includes
- Literary and artistic works
- Symbols, names and images used in commerce
Intellectual Property Rights
The term “intellectual property rights” refers to the legal rights granted to the owner of the property, with the aim to protect the original creative works of the mind or intellect.
These rights include:
- Industrial Property such as patents, industrial designs and trademarks
- Copyright – the right of the author or creator
- Related Rights – rights of the performers, producers and broadcasting organisations.
Making Money from Intellectual Property
Intellectual property rights give owners with the opportunity to commercialise their original creative work of the mind for their benefit.
A common strategy to commercialise intellectual property is through its assignment.
What does Assignment mean?
An assignment is an outright sale of intellectual property. When you, as the owner of intellectual property assign your rights, you transfer your ownership of intellectual property to another person.
This means that once assignment is complete you cannot impose any performance obligations on the new owner.
The payment for an assignment should be regarded as a purchase price.
Selling intellectual property outright (and not simply licensing or attempting to develop and market it yourself) means that you are guaranteed payment at the price you and the buyer have negotiated.
This also means one-time payment is all that you will ever receive for your property. You can retain the potential for unlimited future income only if you offer a temporary license for your intellectual property.
Internet Law will help you find the right lawyer to help you
- Decide which is the best approach for you or your company – outright assignment or a licensing arrangement.
- By ensuring all appropriate searches are conducted if you are the buyer to make sure the seller actually has complete and unique rights in the intellectual property offered for sale.
- Prepare non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements to protect your intellectual property if you are the seller.
- Investigate the validity of an intellectual property offered for sale – status of registration, the file history and coverage.
- Evaluate the risks associated with the use of the assigned intellectual property once assignment is complete.
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