Tuesday, January 29

IP: A game of attack and defense

Talk by Peter McDermott followed by a game simulating the Patent system by Andrew Torrence.

After these sessions by Peter and Andrew I feel that I am now in a much better position to understanding the use of IP and how it can be utilized to gain an advantage. The systems involved in IP are more complex than I was aware of before this talk, and the systems throughout the world are also completely different. It is important to seek professional help, from someone who understands the unique nature of the country you are looking to protect your IP in. It’s also very important to understand how acting on your IP in a particular country can affect the ability to protect your idea in others.

The key lessons were that IP is incredibly important, more so than I had an awareness of. Its value to a business is huge, especially at this time in history, because information is so valuable. There has to be a strategy to utilizing IP, and it’s not just about a patent, there is an offensive and defensive attitude towards IP.
Businesses need protocols for collecting and evaluation IP that is generated within the company, as proper records could be crucial if IP is disputed. Also be careful when disclosing patent applications, only show what you need to, no more and keep the claims well protected until the last minute. Sometimes patents can be a useful marketing tool, even if they aren’t that useful for business purposes.
There is a lot of effort in bringing together the different laws regarding IP throughout the world, but there aren’t systems that let you protect yourself worldwide, so always be aware of specific laws in different countries, and act accordingly.

Peters presenation was very informative presentation, with a lot of good material and useful insights into the laws involved in IP protection.

During Andrews session we were able to play a simulation that looked to model the complex nature of Patents. It was an interesting take on the way in which patents work, and instantly made the complex ideas behind the system a lot clearer. The patent system is clearly difficult to model, which was something that I wasn’t aware of, yet it the software gave a unique approach to providing understanding to a system that I haven’t had any involvement in up until now.

I learnt that the patent system isn’t as abstract as I had thought. There are rules to the system, that if you know how to use the system to your advantage, it is possible to benefit greatly. However it also seems that because of the nature of the system, no matter how well you know it, there are nuances and problems that you can’t always be aware of and so you won’t always come out on top.

Overall it was a great experience, and a worthwhile session. It would have been brilliant to spend more time working on various strategies using the system, to see how they affect the outcome.

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