Dealing with Intellectual Property aspects for the first time could be difficult if you are not familiar with the basic concepts. Below there is a list of the most commonly used terms.

‘Intellectual property (IP)’ refers to creations of the human mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

‘IP background’ means intellectual property owned or controlled by either of the parties at the date of a given agreement or which shall at any time thereafter become so owned or controlled otherwise than as a result of the project under the agreement.

‘IP foreground’ is defined as all intellectual property conceived, created, acquired or initially reduced to practice as result of the project outputs.

‘Intellectual property management (IPM)’ is a term used for describing the oversight of intangible assets.

‘Intellectual property right (IPR)’ is defined as patents, inventions, trademarks, service marks, logos, design rights (whether registerable or otherwise), applications for any of the foregoing, copyright, database rights, domain names, trade or business names, moral rights and other similar rights or obligations whether registerable or not in any country and the right to sue for passing off.

‘Intellectual property exploitation’ is defined as everything related to the use, sale, marketing, advertising, technology transfer, licensing and other activities that may generate an economic return for the organisation, based on intellectual property rights.

‘Ownership of IP rights’ refers to the state or quality of being an owner of a proprietary right.  It enables its holder to exercise exclusive rights of use in relation to the subject matter of the IP and to restrict others from using these IP rights.

‘Access rights’ means rights to use results or background under the terms and conditions agreed between the parties.

‘Results’ means any (tangible or intangible) output of the action such as data, knowledge or information — whatever its form or nature, whether it can be protected or not — that is generated in the action, as well as any rights attached to it, including intellectual property rights.

‘IP licensing’ refers to the grant of rights of use to another party when you own intellectual property.

‘License Agreement’ refers to the contract under which the owner of an intellectual property right (‘licensor’) gives permission to another individual or entity (‘licensee’) to use this right for a period of time and within a defined territory. Without such permission, this use would infringe patent or trademark rights. 

‘Exclusive License Agreement’ is a contract licensing intellectual property to another party for its exclusive use and/or economic benefit.

‘Royalty’ is a payment made to a right holder for the use of the intellectual property which it owns, such as a patent, trade mark, or copyrighted work.

‘Assignment of IPR’ means the transfer of rights and obligations of an IPR to another individual or legal entity.

‘Freedom to operate search’ refers to searches on intellectual property rights databases (such as patent databases) aimed at determining whether a product’s commercialisation could infringe third parties’ rights.

‘IP due diligence’ refers to the exercise to gather as much information as possible on the value and the risks of a company’s intangible assets, with a view to acquiring IP, raising capital and seeking financial assistance (e.g. bank loans).

‘IP Valuation’ is an assessment of the value of a particular IP asset. IP valuation may be quantitative or qualitative in nature. There are a variety of methods to value IP.

‘Technology transfer’ can be described as the successful application and/or adaptation of a technology developed in one organisation to meet the needs of one or more other organisations, belonging to the same or different industrial sector. The transferred technology shall be innovative for the recipient and being implemented by a licensing agreement, a joint venture agreement, a manufacturing agreement, and/or a commercial agreement with technical assistance.


Sources: WIPO, European Comission, Lawinsider, Ghbintellect, Mondaq.

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