FAQ: What is the difference between patents and trademarks?
Answer: Trademark requires prior use, so the IP involved is public before it is registered. In contrast, the IP involved in patents is held confidential before applying for the patent. If you disclose the IP to the public before filing, you will not be able to get a patent. Filing starts the patent process; use starts the trademark process. Software is often handled via copyright and trade secrets rather than patents.
FAQ: Who owns the intellectual property of employees of a university?
Answer: If the federal government paid for the research that created the intellectual property, it owns the IP, but gives control of it (title) to the university. This was set by the Bayh-Dole Act (Code of Federal Regulations, 2013/2018).
Source: Code of Federal Regulations. Bayh-Dole Regulations | grants.nih.gov. NIH grants & funding. July 1, 2013.
FAQ: What are the advantages of establishing your intellectual property legally?
Establishing ownership of IP has these advantages for your business:
- It is attractive to investors and customers
- It deters infringement lawsuits from others claiming some or all of your product is their idea.
- It may deter others from working on something similar.
- It adds value to your company’s assets and can increase your leveraging power.
Tip on IP and Grant Proposals:
If you write an SBIR grant proposal to get seed funding for your life science business based on an idea related to your research, be sure to indicate sections of the SBIR grant proposal containing proprietary information.
Source: Arizona Commerce Authority. SBIR/STTR Intellectual Property Considerations.