Step 3

Processes and responsibility  

When it comes to deciding how to manage IPR in the future, the following questions may prove useful:


Where:

In which processes and departments are product development, knowledge, new designs and brands generated?


When:

  • At what times in the process is it relevant to examine whether the company itself should undertake development, brand building and design itself  – or whether it should buy a licence or enter into collaboration with a third party?
  • At what stages do you check which rights risk blocking sales and production of the product, brand and the design in the pipeline? This type of search is known as a ‘Freedom-to-operate’ search.
  • And when is it relevant to assess whether and how the product, brand or design should be protected?

How:

How do you assess and take decisions? You can, for example, carry out a generalised search of other people’s rights before development gets underway and conduct a thorough search with outside help when the product is designed or is taking shape. And you can ensure that management makes decisions regarding protection, including an assessment of the long-term costs before anything is published.


Who: 

Which employees are responsible for ensuring that searches are completed, proposals are put before management and followed up on? Should one or more employees take a basic course in IPR protection and how to avoid infringing the rights of others? When do you use external IP consultants or search suppliers?