Once upon a time there was an uprising inventor, Gyro Gearloose. While working on his newest invention he realized that he would need some help with a specific aspect of his invention. He had heard about a skilled expert, Gladstone Gander, who had just the expertise Mr. Gearloose needed. Thus, he decided to outsource a specific development task to Mr. Gander. When the task was ready, Mr. Gearloose continued the R&D by himself.
Mr. Gearloose had heard about patents – that one could use them to protect inventions but getting them can be expensive. He was just a small player and though that probably patenting is more for the big firms. Besides, he was too busy with the R&D! He didn’t have time to get his head around with such a legal matter.
On one sunny afternoon Mr. Gearloose was walking along the main street of Duckburg. Suddenly his eyes caught a view in a store window. “No no no no, this can’t be true”, he said to himself when he was walking closer to the store. But yes, true it was. His very own invention was showcased in the store window. “But this can’t be, I haven’t turned my invention into a product yet”, he thought desperately. Then he saw the advertisement – “…developed by Gladstone Gander. Patent pending”. And so, not happily ever after, were Mr. Gearloose’s R&D efforts gone down the drain. The end.
You might think this is an invented story but actually it is a real-life case (names changed) and unfortunately more common that one would guess. What should have Mr. Gearloose done better? At minimum, taken care of proper contracts with Mr. Gander to obtain rights to the invention and then apply patent for the invention. In general, he should have paid attention to the intellectual property (IP) protection. This is something every company, no matter the size or maturity, should pay attention to. And not only to protect and build their own business, but also to avoid infringing others’. The means span from contracts (like employment, NDA and R&D contracts) to patents, trademarks and designs, to mention some examples.
We bet you don’t want to end up like poor Mr. Gearloose. We at Berggren can help you to avoid pitfalls in protecting your business and thrive instead. Thus, come and meet us to learn more about how to protect and build your business. We Berggren’s IPR GURUS will be around during both days of Tahko Ski Lift Pitch. In addition, our technology lawyer Suvi Julin is giving a keynote “Intellectual property rights boost growth and success” at the main stage on Wednesday 12th. And importantly, don’t forget to pick up your hot drink ticket from us during Thursday 13th!