6 April 2011

Patent Ownership Co-Ownership and Corporate Ownership

This was the title of Roger Lowe's talk to Sheffield Inventors Group on Monday. Roger is proprietor of ip4all, an intellectual property consultancy in Huddersfield.

He began his talk by quoting Mark Getty:
"Intellectual property is the oil of the 21 century. Look at the richest men a hundred years ago; they all made their money extracting natural resources or moving them around. All today’s richest men have made their money out of intellectual property."
Roger then discussed patents as property rights, something that can be bought, sold or charged. He considered ownership and warned that:
"The mere suggestion of co-ownership of patents makes the blood of IP practitioners run cold."
Co-ownership must be adopted only as a last resort.
Too true. He then explained why. Having told us why co-ownership is a bad thing he considered some of the alternatives such as licensing and corporate ownership. The best time to consider these issues is before the application for a patent but not every patent agent tells you that.

There will be no Inventors' Group meeting for May because the first Monday falls on the Mayday Bank Holiday but there will be an exhibition at Central Library to celebrate World IP Day on 26 April 2011. If you want to join the club or set up an inventors' club in your own area call us on 0800 862 0055 or complete our contact form.