Intellectual property managers are acutely aware of how important it is to recognize and catalog innovative ideas. But while most of the focus remains on adding inventions to their portfolios, it's just as important to account for how new business developments might affect the way those intellectual assets are handled.
Crowdfunding is the perfect example of an emerging business model that serves as both a vehicle for innovations and a creator of new variables related to their management. This practice allows independent inventors to engage with the general public and solicit donations from anyone interested in what they might be building. However, according to Law.com, this financial paradigm may necessitate several unexpected changes related to invention disclosure.
When sharing design specifications with potential funders, inventors must be aware of the ways their disclosure may start the clock on patent filing deadlines. According to the news source, the deadline for electing to retain title to an invention could be reduced from two years to a matter of months when certain clauses of the Bayh-Dole Act are triggered by the public dissemination of information.
This may seem like a niche problem at the moment, but crowdfunding is expected to become a more prevalent strategy if global economic conditions continue to stagnate. Citing figures from the BioIndustry Association, Pharmacy Europe recently projected that the business model could generate more than $475 million in funding and add 1,500 jobs to the U.K.'s knowledge-based economy each year.