Intellectual Property (IP) refers to a unique idea, knowledge, invention, trademark, design, logo/brand, concept, the application of something or similar that you have created or thought up.
Types of IP includes copyright, patents, designs, trademarks, plant varieties, or trade secrets.
This page outlines a range of contracts that you can use to protect your intellectual property and information articles to help you decide which protective tools to use.
Confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements are the first contracts you should think of whenever you start talking to people (employees, potential partners or investors, purchasers, consultants) about your ideas or business IP.
A non-disclosure agreement is a written contract stating that the people you talk to will not be able to take your proprietary and confidential information and use it for themselves.
A properly structured confidentiality agreement or non disclosure agreement will:
Use this Mutual Confidentiality Agreement when two parties wish to explore business opportunities and it would be mutually beneficial to exchange certain confidential information. By signing this agreement, the recipients undertake the obligation not to disclose the confidential information as defined in the agreement and that all confidential information be safeguarded and used only by the party receiving it.
When selling a business, the seller often needs to disclose sensitive or confidential information to potential purchasers. This can be information of a financial nature, trade secrets, methodology, IP – data that should remain private knowledge.
The Seller can protect this information by implementing a Deed of Confidentiality or non-disclosure statement before divulging the information.
This contract restrains an employee from competing with the employer after s/he has left the employer’s service, whether by working for a competitor, or by setting up a competing business. In addition the employee is bound to the non-disclosure of confidential information gained during the term of their employ.
To protect your Intellectual Property, it’s highly advisable to apply for IP Rights, so that you can claim ownership and prevent others from using your IP without permission. It will also allow you to license your IP so that you can charge a fee for its use.
Under an IP Licensing Arrangement, you are giving somebody permission to use (but not own) your IP in exchange for royalties. These royalties are called ‘consideration’.
Learn: What is Consideration?
Licensing Arrangements are an extremely important tool for protecting your rights. If you don’t set up your arrangement properly and follow through with consideration, you may find that your contract isn’t enforceable.
This Agreement can be used where the owner of copyright material wishes to license another person the right to reprint and publish copyright material.
It allows the Licensor to define the rights of the Licensee and the manner in which they may use the Copyright Material.
This document deals with the situation where the owner of a trademark (the licensor) grants another Party (the licensee) the right to use the trademark under certain conditions. It defines the rights, roles and responsibilities of each party and clearly spells out specific conditions that apply to the use of the trademark.
In this Agreement, the Licensor (the owner of certain intellectual property) grants the Licensee (the manufacturer) the right to manufacture, use and sell or otherwise distribute the Product to the market place.
Under the provisions of the agreement, the licensee agrees not to make derivative works of the product, or use the licenced IP to create products that would compete directly or indirectly with the product.
You can use this agreement whenever you wish to transfer the ownership of intellectual property from one entity (the Assignor) to another (the Assignee) in exchange for valuable consideration.
So, you have an idea, invention, design or concept that you’ve registered under Intellectual Property Rights, but now you’re not sure how to cash in on that idea? Read on to discover just how easy it is
If you are considering licensing your intellectual property as a means of bringing it to the market, then you need to think about and act on the key issues so you don’t make the most common IP mistakes.
Here is a tale of woe that business owners often experience, and which causes them deep frustration and some considerable, unbudgeted-for cost to their commercial activities. Many business owners conduct their business under a business name, company name, and/or logo (trademarks) and they have not registered these trademarks with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in Canberra.
Following changes to the Privacy Act, businesses are now under greater pressure to deal with, and dispose of, confidential information safely, both for their own protection and privacy, and that of their customers and staff members. Do you know how to keep sensitive data private and out of the hands of identity thieves?