Businesses are unaware of the true value or extent of their intellectual property (IP) portfolio and are losing millions of euros in unseen asset potential, leading tech transfer and law experts at the University of Limerick have warned.
“The primary assets of tech-intensive companies are no longer factories and machines; increasingly, the value in a company is in the innovative ideas and concepts underpinning the products and services traded by the company,” said Paul Dillon, director of the Technology Transfer Office at the University of Limerick.
Dillon was speaking at the launch of the IP Law Café, a new 13-part workshop and networking series that begins on 17 September and runs to December 2016.
“The University is working actively to enable companies to better manage their intellectual assets through its research and innovation activities. This IP Café series is a logical step in our efforts to reach out and engage with the industry on this important topic.”
The opening workshop in the series features Cathal Lane, Tomkins IP, Dublin who will discuss The Future Direction of IP.
The workshop will feature speakers from law firm Arthur Cox, the Patent Office, University of New Hampshire, University of Maine, William Fry Solicitors, Tomkins IP and the University of Limerick.
Call for a national intellectual property policy
Ray Friel from the School of Law at the University of Limerick called for Ireland to create a national IP policy.
“If Ireland is to truly create a 21st-century economy it is going to have to effectively manage a national IP policy,” he said.
“Changes in both technology and the legal framework will create a radically new environment for which both government and industry appear unprepared.”
“Within business, IP too often remains the Cinderella asset waiting for an imaginary prince. But the Irish government could be that prince. The impending Knowledge Development Box proposal is promising, but it will be a wasted opportunity if it is not combined with a comprehensive multi-faceted approach, which supports industry, researchers and innovators to release the full potential of IP assets,” added Friel.
“With a huge number of advantages over other EU countries, Ireland could become a major international IP management hub, but in the face of inaction it runs the risk of losing out to other competitors like Singapore, which has invested heavily in developing IP expertise through its IP Academy.”