WHY IP PROTECTION IS REQUIRED FOR INDIAN CHEMICAL AND PHARMA PRODUCT MANUFACTURER ?
You must have heard many reasons and discussions on explaining “Why IP Protection is requiring for your business?” but main question is that what have you done to protect your IP? Any strong measures have you taken yet?
In this article, I am going to explain simply (Not using big jargon to confuse you) by giving some examples based on real/hypothetical situation to make you understand why IP protection is must for your chemical/pharma company. For the purpose of clarity, this article is written kind of dialogue delivery mode.
NEW PROCESS DEVELOPMENT
Your company is in the business of manufacturing chemicals, dyes, APIs and other products from decades. From your vast experience and small research group you keep on improving the processes of manufacturing different products. However, you are lenient for securing IP rights for those process improvements. Beware, your competitors are keeping close eyes on your business and somehow they come to know about your process. Then competitors will make very minute change in the process and will also secure IP rights by applying for patents. In future, you would not have freedom to use the process for what competitors have secure IP.
Another situation, let’s say government has put ban on the use of specific organic solvent in the chemical industry. You and your competitors both start working on the project to replace the banned specific organic solvent. Your competitor is IP savvy company and has applied provisional patent application. Later, you and your competitor both are successfully cracking the process improvements by using same new solvent. However, you could not use that process improvement because your competitor has filed provisional patent application and competitor will also file full fledged (complete specification) to get granted patent.
You must have applied for provisional patent application before hand (First-to-file has right)
JOB HOPPER / JUGADU EMPLOYEE
In today’s fast growing world, no employees will stay with the same company for many years. Gone are those days of loyal employees. Now-a-days job hoping is more common and frequent to grow financially. One of those lucky employees, who were involved in the process development in your company, left the organisation. Your company has not yet fully completed the project and still it is on the verge of laboratory testing. Your ex-employee joins your competitor and helping them in developing same product by same process steps as he learnt in your organisation. Immediately, competitor is getting active and applies for patent. You might be lending trouble or legal situation here and probably will also lose the right of practicing / using the newly developed process.
If you have taken precautionary measures, such as
- Signing strict IP agreements with all employees,
- You could have timely applied for provisional patent application,
- In provisional patent application, you could have included names of all employees as inventors who are taking part in developing process. Indirectly you can stop them to use these protected IP rights.
Apart from all above mention three scenarios, there are many more situations arises where you should actively protect your IP rights. Additionally, one may also need to their intellectual property by using various other rights as well like –
- Applying for trademark for all their products and future envisage products;
- By copy right registration of all company brochures and other materials;
- In internet world, domain name protection is also important;
- Many times keeping trade secrets and signing agreements with the confidential employees who are part of trade secret.
There are many more points which can be discussed, but I am limiting the content of this article here. One important point is, if any global competitor, who has strong IP portfolios and are actively looking for infringers, in this scenario you also have to aware what product/processes you are following, whether any one IP right over it or not.
To conclude, aim of this article is not to scare you but to make you aware of IP situation. In today’s global competition and global business presence, one needs be actively protect their IP rights. You can get help from the experienced IP expert in the field and must avail IP consultancy. Regularly review your IP strategy which can align with your business goal and help growing your business.
No need to worry, relax and enjoy. Happy Reading. You can contact me further for more information.