There’s a lot of information out there on if your idea can be patented and how to do it. While this information is most definitely useful, what it doesn’t tell you is if your idea should be patented. Many large organizations may have strategies to patent any idea which comes along, but for companies just starting out or scaling to growth, it can be more difficult to tell if it’s necessary to protect ideas with patents and it can be tempting not to as a means to save a little cash.
Today’s marketplace demonstrates a marked shift from an industrial to an information economy. Competitive advantage and profit does not simply come from material assets. Instead, ideas are king.
Purdue Research Foundation and Universidad de Caldas in Manizales, Caldas, Colombia, have partnered to increase commercialization activities for both universities over the next 10 months. Two Colombian university officials, Rogelio Ocampo and Patricia Salazar, came to West Lafayette, Ind., as part of this partnership, which was funded with grants from iNNpulsa and Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje, both Colombian government organizations.
Nokia recently won approval from Chinese competition authorities to sell its mobile phone business to Microsoft without having to make any alterations to its technology patent practices. The Finnish company agreed to sell its mobile phone business to Microsoft in a $7.4 billion deal in September, but to keep its own patent portfolio, according to Reuters.
Microsoft and Dell announced on March 28 that they have entered a patent licensing agreement that will allow the firms to "build on each other's innovations." The companies chose not to reveal much detail, but mentioned Android, Chrome OS and Xbox products, according to The Next Web.
Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM, recently introduced a bill meant to improve the U.S. Department of Energy's technology transfer process, according to Albuquerque Business First.
Pennsylvania State University will become the first university in America to auction off its intellectual property directly, according to Penn Live. The university announced early in March that it will auction off exclusive licenses to intellectual property of various kinds to companies interested in acquiring them. The first auction will run from March 31 to April 11, and companies will have their choice of several patents from Penn State's College of Engineering.
Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. have joined 17 other companies and associations in drafting a letter to the European Union asking a new court to limit the ability of companies that license technology to win court injunctions against product sales when the validity of the patent being licensed is in dispute.
Nokia recently signed an agreement with HTC that will end all ongoing intellectual property disputes with the other company. The businesses also agreed to collaborate on future inventions. The companies revealed little about the deal, but Nokia confirmed HTC will pay it royalties.
Technology transfer arrangements to bring scientific discoveries out of research institutions and onto the market are important for many organizations, from colleges to hospitals. The Healthcare Innovation Alliance network, which is a group of eight healthcare systems, universities and organizations, aims to help its members commercialize the results of their research more quickly, according to Xconomy. The Cleveland Clinic allows other members of the group to use its commercialization staff and resources in exchange for a royalty from any technology licensed with its help.