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Intellectual property rights



A. Managing knowledge in the team or company environment
B. Manage the knowledge of your company or team
C. Protect your knowledge (some different alternatives)
D. Concepts about copyright, copyleft, creative commons
Time needed to review this content: 30 MIN

Knowledge is indeed words a value add for a company. Managing it is crucial to produce wealth and better results.
There are tradicional assets that can be protected by the traditional copyright, Registered brands, and Patents, but with the new digital era we are living in in, there are other knowledge assets such as human resources, digital environments,
Intelectual assets and knowledge assets will be described in this pill.
The traditional intellectual assets are areas of knowledge protected by principles or accepted rules such as the COPYRIGHT. In general there are tangible works but also pure intellectual objects such as songs and other works.


Copyright, the most traditional knowledge protection norma gives to the author a set of rights related to the intellectual tangible or non-tangible work to use, sell distribute, change and others such as:
- The right to replicate the work and to sell the copies 

- The right to exhibit, display and perform the work
- The right to create works based on the original It includes derivations and/or modifications of the original work.
- The right to sell the rights to others.

All these basic rights are granted to the author of the original work immediately upon creation of the work.
Copyright may be applied to a wide range of creative, intellectual or artistic forms or works, conferring on the copyright owner the exclusive right to control the reproduction or adaptation of such works for a certain period of time..

The expression "exclusive right" means that only the copyright holder is free to exercise the corresponding rights and that others are prohibited from using the work without the consent of the copyright holder.

The copyright varies in duration according to the different jurisdictions, there are different categories for each type of work and depending on the duration during which they are valid if the work is published or not. In most of the world, the usual duration of the copyright of numerous works is the life of the author plus about 50 or 70 years. Generally speaking, copyright usually expires at the end of the year in question and not at the exact date of death of the author.

See a general view of COPYRIGHT at the Wikipedia

Patent laws grant property rights to the creators of new, useful and non-obvious inventions, granting the patentee the exclusive right to commercially exploit the invention for a certain period of time (normally 20 years from the date of filing of The patent application). Formerly, patent laws granted rights for the invention of machines (eg, equipment), processes (eg, manufacturing procedures), materials and product design (design patents). Patents have recently been awarded to a greater variety of inventions, such as computer programs, business methods, including business procedures and practices, allocation of funds, payment systems and billing procedures, and even living modified organisms. The exclusive right granted to the owner of a patent consists, in most countries, of the right to prevent or not allow others to manufacture, use, sell or offer for the sale or importation of the invention in question.

Unlike copyright, patent rights do not exist until the inventor does not apply to the government for such rights and the government grants them on the basis of the determination that the invention satisfies the essential requirements for the grant of a patent. After obtaining patent rights, the inventor has the exclusive right to manufacture, distribute and use the invention. Obtaining patent rights prevents other parties from obtaining a commercial benefit as a result of an invention that falls within the scope of the patent.

Trademarks are commercial identifiers used by companies to identify their products and services to customers.

Trademarks can take virtually any form, but the most common are words, logos, symbols and music. The essential function of a registered trade mark is to identify exclusively the origin or commercial origin of goods or services, so that a trademark, properly speaking, indicates the origin or acts as a symbol of origin.

The use of a trademark in this manner is known as trademark use, whereby the trademark owner attempts to enforce his rights or interests by preventing unauthorized use of the trademark (eg, Name, logo, prefix, company colors, etc.) 3.

The rights of trademark laws include the legal protection of trademarks associated with both products and services. Trademark laws protect trademarks against use that may confuse the consumer in identifying products and services (misappropriation), as well as against uses that diminish the economic value of brands (weakening).

See a general view of Trademarks at the Wikipedia :

Trade secrets
A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, model or compilation of information used by a company to get an advantage over its competitors within the same industrial or professional branch. In some jurisdictions, such secrets are called "confidential information", while in others they are a subset or type of confidential information4.

A company can protect its confidential information by signing non-competition and confidentiality clauses on the part of its employees. The laws of protection of confidential information in fact authorize the perpetual monopoly of secret information, without expiring as a patent would. However, the lack of formal protection can not prevent a third party from duplicating and using the secret information once it has been discovered.

The exact terms with which a trade secret is defined vary by jurisdiction (as do the types of information that are subject to the protection of trade secrets).

However, there are three factors that, despite being subject to different interpretations, are common to all these definitions: a trade secret is a type of information that:
  • Is not generally known by a relevant part of the public,
  • Confers a certain type of economic benefit to its owner (where exactly this benefit is usually not known, but not only the economic value of the information itself),
  • And is the object of reasonable efforts to keep it secret.
  • Trade secrets are not protected by law in the same way as trademarks or patents. Probably one of the most significant differences is that a trade secret is protected without disclosing the secret.
  • ICT and networks, the digital area, has changed the traditional view of the knowledge management to face the new ways of creation.

Copyleft is the practice of using copyright laws to remove restrictions on the distribution to third parties  and modified versions of a work and requires that such freedom also apply to the modified versions.

Copyleft is usually carried out under a license and applies to various types of works of authorship. While copyright generally restricts the right to make and distribute copies of an author's work, copyleft uses copyright laws to ensure that any person receiving the copy of a work has the same rights to study, use, modify, and Distribute both the work and the works derived from it. Such licenses normally require that such terms of the license apply to all versions of the work to be distributed.

See more about Copyleft in Wikipedia

Public Domain
Public domain consists of a set of knowledge and innovation (especially creative works such as literature, art, music or inventions) for which no person or legal entity can establish or maintain property interests under a given legal jurisdiction. The set of information and creativity is considered part of a common cultural and intellectual heritage that, in general terms, anyone can use or exploit with or without profit. It is said that a creative work is in the public domain when there are no laws that restrict Its use by the general public. For example, a work may be in the public domain if the laws do not establish property rights over the work, or if the work or its subject matter is specifically excluded from existing laws. Because property rights are based on national laws , A work may be in the public domain in one jurisdiction and not aplicable in another. For example, some literary works are in the public domain in the US but not in the EU and vice versa.

Creative Commons
Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding the set of existing creative works so others can create from them and share them legally. The organization has created several copyright licenses known as Creative Commons licenses. These licenses, depending on their type, restrict only certain rights (or none) of the work.

Because copyright is a property, laws require that an authorization be obtained before "using" a copyrighted work, unless such use is a "legitimate use". The particular type of "use" that requires an authorization refers to any use that affects the exclusive rights that

See a general view of CC at Wikipedia
"Intellectual Property - Protecting your Ideas: Anupama Dias Abeygunawardene at TEDxYouth@Colombo”
by TED Youth.

In this video, all the concepts seen in this pill are clearly explained with good examples.



Before protecting any kind of your works or knowledge in your team or company, compare traditional and new methods and choose the one that better feels on your products, works, or any other kind of knowledge;
Examine your ideas to know witch kind of protection would they need;
Since protecting your ideas is not free at least in the traditional methods, be sure to invest in ideas that will be profitable products or projects or services.


Different ways to manage the knowledge;
Traditional and new ways to protect the intellectual properties;
Copyright, Patents, Public Domain, Trade Secrets, Copyleft, Creative Commons.



Did I understood the different ways to protect my intellectual, tangible and not-tangible works?
Do I know the differences between the traditional protection methods and the digital ones?
Are the concepts of Creative Commons and the other non traditional methods clear enough to me?
Do I really think IPR is important in the development of my company?




"Managing Intellectual Assets in the Digital Age by Jeffrey H. Matsuura“ 
COPYRIGHT in Wikipedia 
Trademarsk in Wikipedia 
Copyleft in Wikipedia 
Creative Commons in Wikipedia 



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