We live in a globalized world characterized by a new paradigm: the unprecedented push of new products, fruits of knowledge. The innovations follow each other with an impressive pace, intensifying competition between companies that wish to maintain leadership positions. It advocates strengthening ties with knowledge generating centers and begins to see the latter as a key success factor. Seen this way, knowledge has become a commodity that is bought, sold, licensed and that above all things generates values for the organizations that own it, moving to occupy a very important place in the assets of companies, all which allows to support the new paradigm of the economy based on knowledge.
In this way, knowledge acquires the category of merchandise par excellence, but a merchandise if you want fragile and vulnerable that needs to be protected so that it can be used effectively in business strategies and thus provide sufficient dividends that allow you to recover large sums which are intended to finance Research & Development (R&D) activities.
All agree that the Intellectual Property puts in the hands of entrepreneurs and researchers mechanisms that properly used allow:
a) Obtain exclusive marketing rights that prevent competitors from copying or imitating products or services.
b) Avoid investments in R&D activities that will not contribute values to the organization.
c) Plan the R&D activities.
d) Organize properly the processes of technology transfer.
e) Move competitors.
f) Increase the commercial value of companies.
g) Enter new markets.
h) Avoid conflicts with third parties for violation of Intellectual Property Rights.
i) Obtain profits that allow recovering the costs associated with R&D and at the same time investing in new research.
Faced with this new way of seeing and focusing on the new economic paradigm, the universities are now occupying the central place, the explanation is clearly very simple, they are the main knowledge generating centers, they have the most trained and better prepared staff to give the innovative impulse that the business sector requires, hence the immense current efforts, especially of the interface entities, are oriented towards the search for strategies that allow the traditional distances that have existed between the business sector and the academy to be approached.
The business sector needs the innovations that are generated in the academy and the latter of the financing that the business sector can contribute to its research projects. A mutually beneficial relationship emerges in this way, which clearly benefits its two main participants. But this relationship has very interesting characteristics: the business sector contributes the necessary money that finances the R&D activity, instead it requires exclusivity in the use and enjoyment of the new technological scientific advance, which allows it to recover the investment and maintain an advantage Competitive, that is often his main requirement. The academic sector, in need of new financial resources, often succumbs to these demands, but increasingly understands the importance of owning Intellectual Property Rights in its own way or shared with the business sector.
However, the academy, in its internal activity, lives a conflict that is very evident, on the one hand it has commitments with the business sector that finances its projects and demands protection for Intellectual Property Rights, and on the other hand its scientists and researchers demand the publication in leading scientific journals of their scientific advances, as this is the greatest recognition they can obtain, however this throws away the possibilities of seeking adequate protection, an aspect that does not go unnoticed, hence the protection of Intellectual Property Rights precede any act of publication of the fruit of intellectual creation.
However, the decision of the best form of protection of the knowledge that is possessed, as a result of R&D efforts, is not an easy task and decisions are often taken that bring unfavorable results. The protection strategy that is followed can contribute to organizational development or the loss of business opportunities that may not be repeated. Given this reality, decisions regarding Intellectual Property, and more particularly those related to the protection of knowledge, are of a strategic nature and must be taken at the highest management level of any organization. Aspects of such importance cannot be left in inappropriate hands and to free will, under penalty of the design of strategies that nothing or very little contribute to the organization possessing the knowledge or decisions that do not give adequate protection and therefore do not allow the recovery of the investment and subsequent investment in new projects and research.
Author: Osmel Aroche Pérez.