How Can You Lose Intellectual Property Rights?

Intellectual property rights can be lost in many ways.  The importance of this loss depends on the company’s business strategy.  The following examples are not all inclusive:

  • Public disclosure before filing for intellectual property protection in the appropriate geographical areas can immediately lose the ability to obtain foreign coverage and starts a timeline which you must meet in order to obtain protection in the United States.  Public disclosure can include:

o     Technical or business presentations

o     Marketing documents

o     Detailed discussions outside of your company

  • An offer for sale of a product prior to a critical time.

·      The incorrect filing of applications to protect your Intellectual Property Rights.

·      For a idea-oriented company, many agreements including: license agreements, teaming agreements, material transfer agreements, marketing agreements, joint testing agreements, third-party manufacturing agreements, technology evaluation agreements, all involve intellectual property.  If the agreements are not worded correctly, or not signed by the correct person at the correct time they can cause a loss of current and/or future rights.