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Campus Life Series: Research Spotlight

Capturing the value of soft IP

Intellectual property expert at City highlights how researchers can protect and improve collaboration around their IP in the technological and creative sector.

by Matthew Little (Communications Officer)

Intellectual Property (IP), is any creation of the mind, whether that be a product, design, art or invention. Soft IP is a phrase often used to define creations which involve algorithms, designs, artistry, images, know-how and media.

As sectors have advanced, innovative creations have become more infused with artificial intelligence, machine learning and software, areas which require a variety of resources and are not always suitable for protection with traditional patents.

In a chapter titled ‘Capture the value of soft IP’ featured in Adam Jolly’s Winning with IP Managing Intellectual Property Today, Dr Carol Daniel, Senior Managing Consultant at City, highlights how additional value can be added to soft IP by patenting certain key elements, recipes and methodologies to create a more holistic approach to innovation.

Dr Daniel suggests that City projects such as Eva Park, a multi-user virtual world which enables people with aphasia - a language disorder usually caused by stroke - to raise their confidence and engage in conversation with others in a variety of virtual locations, has benefited from an implementation of the soft IP as external clinicians and users will now be able to access this assessment tool under licence.

Another example that Dr Daniel mentions in his chapter is the Centre for Compressor Technology which has created a wealth of knowledge on the design and operation of twin-screw machines, where the soft IP has been licensed to external manufacturers – providing a resource for cutting edge specialist training which is highly valued by clients.

In an extract from the chapter, Dr Daniel says: “As more of the innovations developed at universities like City become interdisciplinary and involve complex relationships, the idea of a single invention no longer holds true.

“In technology transfer, we are beyond taking just a patent transactional approach, working instead as true collaborative teams where copyright, know-how, design, trademarks and databases make an ever-increasing contribution.”

Read the full chapter here.

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