نقش حیاتی زمان بندی در مدیریت مالکیت معنوی
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Business Horizons, Volume 55, Issue 4, July–August 2012, Pages 339–347
In today's environment, timing is a critical part of business strategy. Nowhere is this truer than as regards managing intellectual property in an increasingly global marketplace. The creation and protection of intellectual property assets often depends on consistently taking the right legal action at the right time. The consequences of failing to do so can be disastrous but may only be felt at a later time or in other markets. The difficulty for business people lies in the fact that the time-sensitive aspects of intellectual property cannot be managed effectively by relying on intuition or resolving to see a lawyer when the need arises. This article provides a basic primer on the critical role of timing in identifying, creating, and protecting intellectual property assets. It discusses the most common types of intellectual property—patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets—and compares the role of timing in the creation and protection of each asset type. Most importantly, it summarizes the key issues of timing in the creation and protection of intellectual property.
It is not difficult to imagine situations in which businesses would want legal protection against unscrupulous competitors. It could be a toy company that discovers others selling copies of its toys, a restaurant that discovers a competitor using its secret recipes, a computer company that discovers competitors using its innovative technology, or a clothing manufacturer that discovers others using brand names eerily similar to its own. Such acts of ‘unfair competition’ are becoming increasingly common and often involve the protection of intangible legal rights in intellectual property (IP), such as the right to exploit one's own creativity, innovation, information, or reputation. As a result, IP is becoming one of the most valuable business assets. In today's global marketplace, it is also easy to imagine how seemingly provincial problems can transcend national borders. Consider the aforementioned examples. The toy company could discover that the copycat items are being sold by a domestic company, via the Internet, to consumers located outside the United States; or, by a foreign company to American consumers. The restaurant could be located in Detroit, just across the river—and the border—from the restaurant in Windsor, Canada, using its secret recipes. The clothing company could find it difficult to expand into foreign markets where competitors have already begun selling clothing using the same or similar brand names. The technology that makes it easier and more affordable for consumers to travel, ship, and shop all over the world also poses potential problems for businesses that require international strategies and solutions. As a result, the same forces that have driven the exponential growth of IP have spurred efforts to develop international laws to protect and enforce IP around the world. The challenge for business people is knowing how and when to take steps to obtain legal protection for their IP. Even for those who prefer to leave such matters to lawyers, it is necessary to understand how to identify IP and when to take steps to protect it—even if that means merely knowing when to consult a lawyer.