Intellectual property management

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

Intellectual property is a right of private property granted for the creation of the mind. It is a right granted to inventors, authors, artists and creative endeavour exclude others from exploiting the works without the permission of the owners. Primarily, intellectual property rights are granted in respect of patent, trademark, copyright and industrial property. It is instructive to note that patent may be granted over software where it involves carrying on a function while copyright is granted to protect computer programme.

The traditional use of IP was to grant exclusivity to innovators for a period of time so as to enable them to recoup their investment. In this use, IP serves as a defensive weapon in the hands of the innovator. However, in the last twenty years, with advancing technological innovation and globalisation has given rise to new uses of IP. More than ever before, it is now easier to convert knowledge and information into income through IP. Economic value can be created from IP through exclusivity, transfer, licensing and cross licensing, litigation and collateral.

In recent times creating value from IP necessitates significant economic considerations. To effective do this, it has become necessary to deploy management principles to harness value from intellectual property. In this connection, IP has gone beyond a defensive weapon and become more of an sword of attack in the hands of astute businessman.

In order to leverage IP in a business environment, it would be necessary to put in place an appropriate strategy. A well managed IP strategy is bound to result in increased level of competitiveness and improved financial performance.

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