INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION By Ted Bosse Ogilvie and Company Barristers and Solicitors 1400 Metropolitan Place 10303 Jasper Avenue T5J 3N2 403-421-1818 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION PTAC is dedicated to facilitate the disclosure of proprietary information in an effort to create project alliances to conduct research and development on technology for the conventional oil and gas energy sector. PTAC recognizes that if these sought after alliances are to come into existence it will be neces- sary for innovators to seek out prospective co-venturers for their project. That means a certain degree of disclosure will be required by the innovator to entice interested parties to become involved in the project. Without that disclosure no progress will be realized. PTAC recognizes that it is essential that inventors protect their intellectual property assets in much the same way as they protect other valuable assets. PTAC believes that an inventor can obtain a level of protection for their intellectual property with some basic understandings of how intellectual property protection works. What follows is not intended to replace the need to obtain legal assistance in exploiting an invention but to assist the reader in understanding how to effectively instruct legal counsel, when to involve legal counsel, what to ask for during the stages of development and finally in helping to assess the capabilities of their prospective intellectual property counsel. PTAC recognizes that to be successful industry participants we will need to access the services of a legal advisor who is both well versed in intellectual property law and experienced in the legal issues involved in the creation of business alliances. For a detailed discussion on the issues dealing with alliance law see Guidelines for the Procurement of Legal Services and the Prac- tice of Law In the establishment of a Business Alliance. For more information relating to patent prosecution see Patent Seminar. For assistance in the various stages in the agreements to create a particular project among industry participants the following chart will assist the reader in accessing the appropriate legal services at the appropriate time. IP PROTECTION CHART Many of our readers are experienced in the art of disclosure without disclosing. There are many sophisticated approaches which have been described relating to specific technology in specific sectors. Rather than attempt to describe those numerous approaches, we attempt to assist by setting forth a very simple guideline as follows: DISCLOSE WHAT THE INVENTION CAN DO NOT HOW IT DOES IT. ALWAYS CHECK AFTER YOU HAVE DESCRIBED WHAT YOU BELIEVE THE INVENTION CAN DO TO DETERMINE IF YOU HAVE INADVERTENTLY DESCRIBED HOW THE INVEN- TION DOES IT. For a more in depth discussion see Confidential Information and Trade Secrets. To access a standard form of confidentiality agreement for use with prospective alliance partici- pants see Confidential Disclosure Agreement.
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