Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Due Diligence in a Digital World

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Due Diligence in a Digital World

Article excerpt

EVERY April 26 we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to promote discussion of the growing role of Intellectual Property (IP) in encouraging innovation and creativity.

The annual event was established in 2000 to help to raise awareness of how patents, designs and other IP rights impact on daily life.

At no time in our history has IP and its protection and enforcement been of greater relevance.

In 2016 the focus is on Digital Creativity and Reimagining Culture - that is, how we create it, how we access it, and how we finance it.

Hand in hand with this is the way creative and inventive minds are driving new ways of living and opening up possibilities that have hitherto been impossible except in the imagination.

Nothing serves as a better example than to consider how the wi-fi era is transforming the creation, distribution and enjoyment of consumable culture in markets that are expanding far beyond national boundaries.

Ever more accessible digital technologies have swept away physical constraints feeding the imagination in new ways.

Furthermore the digital revolution we are experiencing heralds the arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) which will change our world forever. Companies at the forefront of related technologies such as those in the software-driven, wireless communication and FinTech sectors need to take active steps to understand the patent rights owned by others in their specific market place so as to be aware of the potential risks and opportunities they face.

The same is true for innovators in the more established industries such as advanced manufacturing and the pharmaceutical sector.

The process by which companies achieve this awareness with respect to patents is known as patent "due diligence".

Assessment of patent rights during a due diligence exercise is often the key consideration for technology-based businesses. …

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