P A T E N T S P R O T E C T T H E I N T E L L E C T U A L P R O P E R T Y E M B

P a t e n t s p r o t e c t t h e i n t e l l e c t u

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P A T E N T S P R O T E C T T H E I N T E L L E C T U A L P R O P E R T Y E M B E D D E D I N I N V E N T I O N S . Consider whether this statement is true or false: Youown the copyright for work that youcreate as part of your job, working for an employer. The answer is false. According to the Canadian Copyright Act, you are the author of work that you create as part of your job, but the default copyright holder is your employer. Consider whether this question is true or false: You own the copyright for work that you create outside of your job (e.g. if you create a smartphone app). The answer is true. As long as creation of the work occurs on your own time and uses your own resources, then you own the copyright. The Canadian Copyright Act confers on your employer only the copyright in works that you create as part of your job. It does not extend to works that you create outside of your job. That said, in your employment contract, you might have agreed to assign to your employer the IP rights to all works that you create inside and outside of your job. If so, this contract supersedes the default assignment of copyright to you. Make sure to read your employment contract carefully, especially the clauses that pertain to the assignment of IP rights. K N O W Y O UR R IG H T S A S A C R E A T O R ( PA R T 2 ): P A T E N T S A N D P R O T E C T I N G SO F T W A R E I P
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8 © University of Waterloo and others Holding a patent gives the inventor time-limited, exclusive rights to produce and reproduce their inventions. It gives them exclusive rights to sell, rent, and license their inventions to others. Competitors cannot simply copy or imitate the invention and sell it themselves, without violating the patent. To be patentable, the invention must be novel, it must be useful, and its creation must have required some ingenuity; in other words, it cannot be something obvious that anyone could have envisioned or produced. A patentable work can also be an improvement of an existing invention, as long as the improvement is novel, useful, and non-obvious. According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, 90% of patents are for improvements on existing patented inventions. H E R E A R E S O M E B A S I C F A C T S A B O U T H O W P A T E N T S W O R K I N C A N A D A : oThe granting of patents goes to the first inventor who files an application. The patent office does not attempt to ensure that the patent goes to the person who created the invention. It goes to the person who filesthe application. In other words, the way you establish ownership of your inventions is by filing for a patent. oPatent protection starts with the granting of the patent by the patent office and it ends 20 years after the filing of the patent application.
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