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Memo

 on  Intellectual  Property  


Speaker:  Julian  Hitchcock,  FieldFisherWaterhouse  LLP  
 
 
 
To:  Dr.  Shima  Barakat  
From:  Zam  Shabeer  Thahir  
Date:  12.02.11  

Theory    
 
Intellectual   property   or   IP,   is   a   legal   definition   for   ideas,   inventions,   literary  
works,   artistic   works   and   other   commercially   viable   products   created   out   of  
one's  own  mental  processes.  In  the  same  sense  that  real  estate  titles  and  bills  of  
sale  establish  ownership  of  tangible  items,  IP  rights  or  IPR  protect  IP.  [1]  
 
IPR   provides   an   incentive   for   innovation   because   the   owner   of   the   rights   can  
exploit   and   retain   these   rights   to   gain   commercial   remuneration   from   third  
parties   who   wish   to   use   their   work.[2]   In   fact,   the   implementation   of   IPR   in   the  
18th   century   was   one   of   the   major   forces   behind   the   industrial   revolution   in  
England  that  rapidly  improved  the  living  standards  worldwide.  [3]  
 
IPR  comes  in  the  form  of:  [4]  
 
• Patents  -­‐  protect  processes  that  make  things  work  (e.g.  inventions)  
• Trade  marks  -­‐  protect  brands  and  the  image  of  a  company  that  distinguish  
goods  and  services  (e.g.  logos,  packaging)  
• Designs  -­‐  protect  the  look  of  three-­‐dimensional  shapes  (e.g.  jewelry,  
architectural  structures)  
• Copyright  -­‐  protects  material  only  when  it  is  written  down  or  recorded  (e.g.  
musical  works,  films)  
 
 
 
Speaker  Summary  (Julian  Hitchcock)    
 
Julian   Hitchcock   is   a   Senior   Associate   at   the   European   law   firm,  
FieldFisherWaterhouse  LLP.[5]  The  key  points  of  his  talk  were:  
 
• IP  is  used  to  protect  and  profit  from  ideas.    Ventures  are  encouraged  to  
obtain  IPR  from  inception  since  the  accumulation  of  IP  adds  synergic  value  to  
the  venture.    
• IP  laws  and  the  requirements  to  obtain  IPR  vary  between  countries.  The  UK  
uses  the  ‘first  to  file’  method  whereas  the  US  uses  the  ‘first  to  invent’  method.  
Mr.  Hitchcock  stated  that  the  latter  was  possible  only  with  detailed  lab  books  
and  meeting  reports.  
• The  type  of  service/product  affects  the  type  of  IP  that  should  be  secured,  as  
outlined  above  in  the  theory  section.  
• An  idea  needs  to  satisfy  3  requirements  for  patentability.  It  has  to  be  new,  not  
obvious,  and  not  be  contrary  to  ‘ordre  public  and  morality’  
• The  original  creator/author/inventor  of  the  IP  has  to  be  distinguished  from  
the  owner.  Individuals  may  invent  new  IP  but  the  IPR  may  be  held  by  the  
organization  they  are  working  for.  This  prevents  the  inventor  from  resigning  
and  commercializing  the  IP  on  his/her  own.    
• IP  Licenses  can  be  sold  to  generate  extra  profits,  but  at  the  cost  of  potential  
know-­‐how  leaks    
• The  Confidentiality  vs.  ‘Public  with  IP  rights’  argument  needs  to  be  
considered  for  each  company  separately.    
 

Application  to  Study  Loop      


 
Study  Loop  will  be  cloud  service  and  hence  cannot  be  patented  in  the  UK.  It  will  
be  primarily  protected  by  copyright.  However,  any  logos  or  branding  used  on  the  
website   needs   to   be   trademarked   as   soon   as   they   are   made   and   any   databases  
will   need   database   rights   as   soon   as   they   are   built.   Moreover,   the   co-­‐inventors  
need  to  have  a  written  partnership  agreement  and  understand  that  the  company  
owns   the   IPR.     At   this   stage   of   development,   Study   Loop   must   be   protected   by  
NDAs  from  anyone  who  is  exposed  to  the  concept  of  Study  Loop.    

Conclusion  
 
IPR  are  essential  for  economic  growth.  However  applications  for  IPR  need  to  be  
legally  comprehensive,  as  there  is  a  growing  trend  towards  finding  loopholes  to  
invalidate  lucrative  IPR.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
References:  
 
1-­‐ Patents,  Copyrights  &  Trademarks  for  Dummies  (Henri  Charmasson)  John  
Wiley  &  Sons,  2004.  
2-­‐ World  Intellectual  Property  Organization  Free  Publications  -­‐  
http://www.wipo.int/freepublications/en/intproperty/450/wipo_pub_450.
pdf  
3-­‐ Economics  for  Dummies,  UK  Edition  (Peter  Antonioni,  Sean  Masaki  Flynn)  
John  Wiley  &  Sons,  2004  
4-­‐ Intellectual  Property  Office  -­‐  http://www.ipo.gov.uk/whyuse.htm  
5-­‐ Camtools  Entrepreneurship  Speaker  Profiles  -­‐  https://camtools.cam.ac.uk