Intellectual property: from creation to commercialisation
Oak Tree Press
2012 | 314pp | £52
Reviewed by Jonathan Wills
The potential for pure scientific research to provide commercially exploitable technologies is now well recognised. Less well understood are the legal procedures that allow new technologies to be protected and utilised. This book is intended to provide a basic introduction to the development and management of intellectual properties, including, most obviously, patents. This book is not a detailed legal text book; as the subtitle makes clear, it is a practical guide for innovators and researchers.
The first sections of the book provide an overview of intellectual property and how it might be used to protect nascent technologies. These sections
are pleasingly free of legal jargon and provide an unfussy overview of the patent application procedure. However, it is the later sections of the book that appear most useful. Here, the author concentrates on topics concerning the exploitation of technologies. The author does well to emphasise the importance of issues such as inventorship, ownership and conflict – typically thorny issues in university research. Other thoughtful chapters draw attention to the importance of documenting the development of new inventions, and steps that should be taken to properly disclose, license or transfer commercially important work to others.
Many of the chapters contain useful case studies that illustrate the topics under consideration. The examples provided for the inventorship and conflict chapters are particularly well chosen and provide salient instruction on the problems that may arise where inventors and research institutions have
not dealt with these issues in a timely manner.
Although the book is written by a chemist, it is by no means chemistry-focused, aiming at readers working in any technological field. Overall, the author has done well to highlight the commercial issues that arise as a technology is taken from the laboratory and into the market, and the book makes for an informative read.