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You have been asked by the managing director of Greentech Ltd for advice on the management of its intellectual property portfolio and future innovative activities in the area of Low Carbon Technology Custom Essay

Intellectual Property Law

2.The Brief

You work for Bizplan, strategic management consultants. You have been asked by the managing director of Greentech Ltd for advice on the management of its intellectual property portfolio and future innovative activities in the area of Low Carbon Technology. The M D is keen to engage all the company?s management team in the development of a strategy that will enable the company to maximise the outputs from its own Research Division (currently employing 30 research scientist on six projects), to acquire stakes in the research outputs and innovative ideas of others not employed by the company, and to facilitate the speedy entry of new ideas into the market.

As background information you have received a list of the company?s present IP holdings and you assess the company?s IP status as follows. The company:

o has tended to patent its outputs wherever possible and sustain those patents, even where they have turned out not to yield strong returns. It holds currently holds 10 patents , granted between 2000 and 2011;
o has licensed technology from other parties where necessary to enhance its research projects. It holds twenty such licences but some are no longer needed, although the company continues to pay royalties as agreed in the licensing agreements;
o has licensed technologies to other companies, sometimes without first exploring the market to achieve the best deal for the company;
o has developed a new and potentially market-leading patentable technology but is not able to fund the development further, which is estimated to cost ?10m;
o finds it difficult to retain its highly skilled research staff, who feel dissatisfied that they are excluded from any financial share in the company?s exploitation of their contributions, and who are likely to move on to work with competitor companies;
o has used non-disclosure agreements in a haphazard fashion, sometimes failing to use them at all. Employment contracts, as presently drafted, do not provide any real protection against employees taking confidential information with them when they leave;
o has not systematically protected the copyright of its marketing and publicity material;
o has never registered its trade mark, which it attaches to all its literature;
o has now been threatened with legal action by Greencarb PLC for alleged infringement of its copyright in its technical promotional literature, and also in for passing-off in respect of its trade mark.

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