- My innovation is at a very early stage of development. Should I register it at all?
- Does an Inngot registration protect my idea?
- What protection does Inngot offer for trade secrets and proprietary processes?
- Why should I register my innovation with Inngot when I have applied to register formal IP rights?
- Who will be able to see the innovation I register with Inngot?
- Why does Inngot require businesses to use its own classification system?
- What checks does Inngot carry out on me and on other registrants?
Q: My innovation is at a very early stage of development. Should I register it at all?
A: An Inngot innovation profile helps you to explain where your inventiveness lies, not how an invention works. Under normal circumstances there is no downside to registering it (unless you have nothing to back up your idea – in which case, you should not register until you have).
However, if you intend to patent intellectual property, you must be careful not to put confidential information into the public domain prior to your application date.
For this reason, Inngot provides tools to hide parts of your innovation profile which you feel might be sensitive (and under some circumstances the system may default to “hidden” mode for key data elements if you indicate that your innovation is at an early stage).
Q: Does an Inngot registration protect my idea?
A: Not as such. No-one can legally claim a monopoly over an idea, except where it is possible to patent it. And in order to obtain a patent, you have to disclose full details of how your idea works, which gives others the opportunity to copy it or design around it.
Inngot registration asserts your ownershipof your intellectual assets. How much protection this process offers depends on what underlying rights you have.
For instance, if your software is protected by copyright, registration will “date stamp” your ownership and put others on notice of it. This is particularly useful if someone infringes your rights (in law, you can only claim damages if you have put others on notice of your copyright) or if you plan to sell or licence your copyright to others.
Q: What protection does Inngot offer for trade secrets and proprietary processes?
A: Inngot supports the commercial exploitation of your trade secrets and proprietary processes by helping you explain what you own, without disclosing the detail.
Copyright can offer some protection for these intellectual assets once they are documented. The relevant law applies to the expression of an idea, which can include process maps and drawings as well as words.
However, some care is needed. While an undocumented trade secret is likely to be an “intellectual asset”, it is not protected property under intellectual property law. If you disclose your trade secret to another party without appropriate safeguards, they may copy your idea and work around your secret.
If you want to enter into commercial discussions where an element of disclosure is likely, make sure you get a confidentiality agreement in place first (Inngot full members can download a free template from the resources section of our website and modify it as needed).
Q: Why should I register my innovation with Inngot when I have applied to register formal IP rights?
A: Your ability to successfully deliver products and services is very unlikely to be dependent on a single Intellectual Property (IP) asset. A combination of elements – copyright, trademarks, designs, patents, trade secrets, proprietary processes and database rights – may all play a part.
Inngot is unique in providing a service to describe the “bundles” of intellectual assets within your organisation which support a particular innovation. Identifying all your assets is crucial if you want to realise value from them, whether through licensing or secured financing, or through the sale of a business.
Inngot has now introduced Sollomon, a new indicative valuation service for your intellectual assets, which provides a quick and cost-effective means to obtain an indication of what they may be worth.
Q: Who will be able to see the innovation I register with Inngot?
A: Every other organisation joining Inngot will be able to see your organisation and innovation profiles if your details correspond with the searches they conduct. In addition, some government agency teams have access to Inngot so that they can identify knowledge and technologies which other companies are seeking, to broker collaborations.
A: Since registration is necessary in order to view any details, Inngot is a “closed community” and all searches leave a trace which can be interrogated in the event of a suspected infringement.
Q: Why does Inngot require businesses to use its own classification system?
A: If you’ve tried searching for intellectual property or any intangible assets using search engines or other network websites, you’ll already know the answer to this question!
Inngot establishes a common language for describing organisations and innovations within the “knowledge economy“. This is particularly important if you are trying to find technology and/or capabilities that may lie within an unfamiliar sector.
Q: What checks does Inngot carry out on me and on other registrants?
A: Inngot uses Companies House data to verify key details provided by full members. Where verification has taken place, this is indicated by a special “seal” icon in the organisation profile.
Inngot also asks for information on any registered IP rights so that these can be cross-checked.
While Inngot provides a standardised classification method to enable innovations to be described, we do not purport to verify their existence or ownership. Therefore, if you are contemplating entering into commercial discussions prompted by an Inngot registration, the onus is on you to ensure that the organisation in question actually owns and possesses the assets they have registered with Inngot.
To find out more about the Sollomon Valuation system. Click Here.
Further more, register and complete an Intellectual Property audit for free here and begin using the inngot directory.