April, 1st 2014
The Academic Innovation Assistance Program (AIAP) and the Innovation Affairs Department at Sultan Qaboos University recently hosted two leading lawyers from an internationally leading law firm specialized in intellectual property rights and patent registration. Richard Litman, CEO of Litman Law firm an IP and Emerging Technologies Group Leader, Becker & Poliakoff Firm, Washington DC, and James Nick Lafave, Patent Attorney, Becker & Poliakoff Firm, gave talks on a number of topics such as „How research can benefit from the global patent system‟, and „introduction to intellectual property‟, and „the purpose and meaning of patent searchers‟ at SQU.
Speaking on „How researchers can benefit from the global patent system‟, the lawyers said that universities should provide valuable assistance to researchers with regard to patent registration and intellectual property rights. “Published patent applications are not peer reviewed and available 18 months after filing — because it is a first to file system and patents can be obtained based solely on a written description, these materials will have information that may not be known by the researchers. The process should capture all disclosures of potentially patentable inventions and ensure that those disclosures are subject to professional patent screening. If there is a patentable invention, potential worldwide IP rights should be preserved so that these rights can be transferred to industry in the most valuable form,” they explained.
Speaking on technology transfer and research and development, the lawyers said that universities should align research projects and university capabilities with other stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem. “An expert analysis of each invention's positioning in the patent landscape and marketplace will identify the best potential collaboration partners and licensees. Getting a patent in a single country is not as important as preserving the right to apply for patents throughout the world. The best way to preserve options throughout the world is to establish an international filing date by filing a patent application and claiming priority to it in subsequent corresponding patent applications filed pursuant to the Paris Convention, which allows up to 1 year to file in member patent offices and claim priority to the original filing date,” they said.
In order to understand the invention's marketability, it is critical to understand the novel features of the invention, when compared to currently available products. These features are then used to inform further elements of the marketability analysis. Based on the unique features, all current products that relate to the invention can be identified.